Carolyn Ee

Carolyn Ee
Western Sydney University · NICM Health Research Institute

MBBS, B.App.Sci, MMed, Grad Cert Med Acup

About

67
Publications
14,797
Reads
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603
Citations
Introduction
I am a GP and Research Fellow. I conduct clinical research on complementary treatments for women's health conditions, particularly metabolic (PCOS, weight after breast cancer) and translational research on co-designing integrative healthcare models. I am a practising GP, acupuncturist, and Director of Western Sydney Integrative Health, Australia's first University-based integrative health centre.In my role as the Jacka Foundation Senior Research Fellow, I focus on integrative medicine education, clinical services, research capacity building and translation. I am also Chair of the RACGP Integrative Medicine Specific Interest Network, have an active social media presence, and am an advocate for working parents, doctor's mental wellbeing, and informed decision making in integrative medicine.
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - present
Western Sydney University
Position
  • Associate Investigator:L-Theanine in the Adjunctive Treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial
July 2017 - present
Western Sydney University
Position
  • Associate Investigator: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) augmentation in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): A 24-week, randomised, double blind placebo controlled trial
November 2016 - present
Western Sydney University
Position
  • Senior Research Fellow, Jacka Foundation Integrative Medicine Program
Education
July 2011 - January 2016
February 2008 - April 2010
University of Melbourne
Field of study
  • Medicine, Primary Care
January 2006 - October 2006
Monash University (Australia)
Field of study
  • Medical Acupuncture

Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Full-text available
Background Weight gain is common after breast cancer. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the barriers to and enablers of successful weight management for women with breast cancer. Methods This was a combined inductive and deductive framework analysis of free text responses to an anonymous cross-sectional survey on weight after brea...
Article
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 5 women of reproductive age, and is characterized by menstrual irregularities, clinical or biochemical hyperandrogenism, and the presence of polycystic ovary morphology. One of the recommended treatment strategies in the international evidence-based guidelines is lifestyle modification, which includes d...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Nutrient supplements are widely used for type 2 diabetes (T2D), yet evidence-based guidance for clinicians is lacking. Methods: We searched the four electronic databases from November 2015-December 2021. The most recent, most comprehensive, high-ranked systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and/or umbrella reviews of randomised controlle...
Preprint
Background: Nutrient supplements are widely used for type 2 diabetes (T2D) yet evidence-based guidance for clinicians is lacking. Methods: We searched the four electronic databases from November 2015–December 2021. The most recent, most comprehensive, high-ranked systematic reviews, meta-analyses and/or umbrella reviews of randomised controlled tri...
Article
Objective Preliminary evidence has suggested that adjunctive N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an antioxidant precursor to glutathione, may reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We conducted a 20-week, multi-site, randomized controlled trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of the adjunctive use of NAC in OCD. Methods The study was a...
Article
The ‘Lifestyle Medicine’ approach may offer an effective strategy for improving the outcomes of psychiatric care when used alongside conventional biological and psychotherapeutic treatments. Lifestyle interventions may also be useful in inpatient psychiatric settings, as this context provides a unique setting for adopting lifestyle changes that can...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Weight gain is common after breast cancer. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and acupuncture may assist with managing weight. However, evidence on effectiveness is limited. This study assessed the feasibility and acceptability of recruiting for and implementing a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating these interventions as adjuncts...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Weight gain is common after breast cancer. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the barriers to and enablers of successful weight management for women with breast cancer. Methods This was a combined inductive and deductive framework analysis of free text responses to an anonymous cross-sectional survey on weight after breas...
Article
Full-text available
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder affecting up to 13 % of women. Lifestyle interventions are first-line treatments, however attrition in women with PCOS is high. This review summarises current evidence on barriers to lifestyle management in PCOS and suggested strategies for overcoming these challenges, mapped to the Ca...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Overweight and obesity are strongly implicated in breast cancer (BC) development and are also a risk factor for BC-related lymphedema (BCRL). Materials and Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted between November 2017 and January 2018. Analyses were restricted to women with localized BC, who provided information about BC...
Article
Full-text available
Background Many mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are associated with poor dietary quality and nutrient intake. There is, however, a deficit of research looking at the relationship between obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) severity, nutrient intake and dietary quality. Aims This study aims to explore the...
Article
Full-text available
Background Globally, a substantial proportion of general practitioners (GPs) incorporate integrative medicine (IM) into their clinical practice. Objective This study aimed to map the IM education and training pathways and needs of a cohort of Australian GPs who are members of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ IM Specific Inter...
Article
Background There is a need for evidence-based guidance on complementary medicines and therapies (CMT) use during pregnancy due to high prevalence of use and lack of guidance on the balance of benefit and harms. Aim Evaluate the extent to which current clinical practice guidelines relevant to Australian healthcare professionals make clear and unamb...
Article
Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often challenging to treat and resistant to psychological interventions and prescribed medications. The adjunctive use of nutraceuticals with potential neuromodulatory effects on underpinning pathways such as the glutamatergic and serotonergic systems is one novel approach. Objective: To assess...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this bibliometric review was to identify the volume, breadth, and characteristics of clinical studies evaluating Tai Chi published between January 2010 and January 2020. Five English and four Chinese language databases were searched. Following independent screening, 1018 eligible publications representing 987 studies were identifie...
Article
Full-text available
Background Endometriosis is the presence of tissue similar to that of the endometrium outside the uterine cavity and is the most common cause of chronic pelvic pain. Current non-surgical treatments such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, oral contraceptive pills and hormonal treatments have limited effectiveness, and the side effect profile is b...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined Australian primary healthcare providers' knowledge about dementia risk factors and risk reduction and their perspectives on barriers and enablers to risk reduction in practice. Primary healthcare providers were recruited through Primary Health Networks across Australia (n=51). Participants completed an online survey that consist...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Endometriosis is the presence of tissue similar to that of the endometrium outside the uterine cavity and is the most common cause of chronic pelvic pain. Current non-surgical treatments such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, oral contraceptive pills, and hormonal treatments have limited effectiveness and the side effect profile is...
Article
Full-text available
Background Many individuals with mental health problems have comorbid physical conditions, or may present with substance/alcohol misuse or abuse issues. This results in complex treatment challenges that may not be adequately addressed by a model of care that is solely delivered by an individual clinician using a sole intervention. Mainstream pharma...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a major health concern with significant personal and healthcare system costs. There is growing interest in using shared medical appointments (SMAs) for management of T2DM. We hypothesize that adding mindfulness to SMAs may be beneficial. This study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of SMAs wi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common female reproductive disorder with multiple manifestations. There are relatively few qualitative studies exploring the nature of living with PCOS despite its high prevalence. Qualitative research can enhance clinical practice via the provision of patient insights into the experience of living...
Article
Background: Metformin has been proposed as possibly a safer and more effective long-term treatment than the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is important to directly compare the efficacy and safety of metformin versus OCP in the long-term treatment of women with PCOS. This is an update of a Cochrane...
Article
Objectives This qualitative study aimed to explore medical specialists’ perspectives on a proposed academic integrative healthcare (IHC) centre to be established in their local district. Methods A convenience sample of medical specialists were recruited via direct email invitations that was augmented with snowball sampling until data saturation wa...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Weight gain after breast cancer is associated with poorer health outcomes. The aim of this study was to describe how Australian breast cancer survivors are currently managing their weight. Methods: Online cross-sectional survey open to any woman living in Australia who self-...
Preprint
Introduction: The aim of this paper was to assess Australian primary healthcare providers perspectives and knowledge about dementia risk factors and risk reduction. Methods: Primary healthcare providers were recruited through Primary Health Networks across Australia (N = 51). Participants completed an online survey that consisted of fixed-response...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Weight gain after breast cancer is associated with poorer health outcomes. The aim of this study was to describe how Australian breast cancer survivors are currently managing their weight. Methods: Online cross-sectional survey open to any woman living in Australia who self-ide...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent women's health condition with reproductive, metabolic, and psychological manifestations. Weight loss can improve these symptoms and is a key goal; however, many women find this difficult to achieve. Acupuncture is a Chinese medical treatment that involves insertion of very fine metal need...
Article
Full-text available
Issue addressed Lifestyle modification plays a key role in weight management and chronic disease prevention in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS experience challenges in adopting and maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviours, which may be related to health literacy. The aims of this study were to explore the health literacy needs of...
Article
Objectives: To engage with local primary care stakeholders to inform the model of care for a proposed academic integrative health care center incorporating evidence-informed traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine (TCIM) in Sydney, Australia. Design: In-depth semistructured interviews, informed by community-based participatory researc...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Overweight/obesity are strongly implicated in breast cancer development, and weight gain post-diagnosis is associated with greater morbidity and all-cause mortality. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of overweight/obesity and the pattern of weight gain after diagnosis of breast cancer amongst Australian women. Metho...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In response to high demand and the growing body of evidence for traditional and complementary therapies, the practice of integrative medicine and integrative healthcare has emerged where these therapies are blended with conventional healthcare. While there are a number of academic integrative healthcare centres worldwide, there are non...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Timely diagnosis of dementia has a wide range of benefits including reduced hospital emergency department presentations, admissions and inpatient length of stay, and improved quality of life for patients and their carers by facilitating access to treatments that reduce symptoms, and allow time to plan for the future. Memory clinics can...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Weight gain after breast cancer is associated with poorer health outcomes. The aim of this study was to describe how Australian breast cancer survivors are currently managing their weight.Methods Online cross-sectional survey open to any woman living in Australia who self-identi...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Herpes simplex labialis (HSL) is a common infection that can cause painful lesions on the oral mucosa, commonly referred to as cold sores. Current biomedical treatments include topical aciclovir, which reduces the episode duration by an average of 0.5 days. This study will examine the efficacy and tolerability of an over-the-counter to...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Weight gain is common after breast cancer (BC) treatment and may increase the risk of disease recurrence. Complementary medicine (CM) use is high amongst BC patients. This paper describes the use of CM from a cross-sectional self-administered survey on prevalence and management of weight after BC. Methods: Use of CM was assessed usin...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Lifestyle modification targeting weight management is the first-line treatment for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) regardless of presenting symptoms. Women with PCOS are more likely to gain more weight compared with women without PCOS, which may be related to barriers in engaging in lifestyle modification. The aim of this s...
Article
Background: Exercise has a number of health benefits and has been recommended as a treatment for primary dysmenorrhoea (period pain), but the evidence for its effectiveness on primary dysmenorrhoea is unclear. This review examined the available evidence supporting the use of exercise to treat primary dysmenorrhoea. Objectives: To evaluate the ef...
Article
Full-text available
Severe mental illnesses (SMI), including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, are associated with increased inflammation. Given diet's role in modulating inflammatory processes, excessive calorie-dense, nutrient-deficient processed food intake may contribute toward the heightened inflammation observed in SMI. This review...
Article
Full-text available
Background Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common female reproductive disorder with multiple manifestations. Weight management is a key therapeutic goal. Acupuncture is a potential adjunctive weight loss treatment in non-PCOS populations. We aimed to engage patients in co-design and assess the feasibility and acceptability of methods for a ra...
Article
Background: Acupuncture has a history of traditional use in China for women's health conditions including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but its effectiveness for this condition remains unclear. This review examined the available evidence supporting the use of acupuncture or acupressure to treat PMS. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness and s...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence of the health and wellbeing benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong (TQ) have emerged in the past two decades, but TQ is underutilized in modern health care in Western countries due to lack of promotion and the availability of professionally qualified TQ instructors. To date, there are no government regulations for TQ instructors or for training in...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Many women would like to avoid pharmacological or invasive methods of pain management in labour, and this may contribute towards the popularity of complementary methods of pain management. This review examined the evidence currently available on manual methods, including massage and reflexology, for pain management in labour. This revi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Evidence on the impact of expectancy on acupuncture treatment response is conflicting. Objectives: This secondary analysis of a randomized sham-controlled trial on acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes investigated whether treatment expectancy score was associated with hot flash score at end-of-treatment. Secondary analyses investig...
Article
Background: Treatment strategies for the management of antenatal depression are limited by varied and often modest response rates, unpleasant medication side effects and uncertainty regarding foetal safety. Consequently, many pregnant women experiencing depression seek alternative non-pharmaceutical options. Acupuncture may provide a safe and pote...
Article
Objective: There is conflicting evidence on the efficacy and effectiveness of acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes. This article synthesizes the best available evidence for when women are considering whether acupuncture might be useful for menopausal hot flashes. Methods: We searched electronic databases to identify randomized controlled trial...
Article
Complementary therapies and medicines are a broad and diverse range of treatments, and are frequently used by women and their partners during the preconception period to assist with infertility, and to address pregnancy-related conditions. Despite frequent use, the evidence examining the efficacy, effectiveness, and safety for many modalities is la...
Article
Background: Hot flashes (HFs) affect up to 75% of menopausal women and pose a considerable health and financial burden. Evidence of acupuncture efficacy as an HF treatment is conflicting. Objective: To assess the efficacy of Chinese medicine acupuncture against sham acupuncture for menopausal HFs. Design: Stratified, blind (participants, outco...
Article
Full-text available
Background Hot flushes and night sweats (vasomotor symptoms) are common menopausal symptoms, often causing distress, sleep deprivation and reduced quality of life. Although hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment, there are concerns about serious adverse events. Non-hormonal pharmacological therapies are less effective and can also ca...
Article
Full-text available
Case A man aged 42 years, who works as a police officer, presented with severe lower back pain, which he had experienced for 24 hours after spending the previous day helping his brother to move house. He had difficulty ambulating and most movements aggravated the pain. There were no lower limb symptoms and no red flags present on history or examina...
Article
It is important to know the best resources for information on complementary and alternative medicines to keep patients fully informed of any possible drug interactions or side effects.
Article
Full-text available
Much undifferentiated illness is seen in general practice. Patients with vague feelings of general unwellness may have multiple unrelated problems, serious underlying pathology, definite but indefinable pathology, no definable pathology, and/or illness of psychological origin. This article looks at an approach to a patient who complains of feeling...
Article
The objective of our study was to review the effectiveness of needle acupuncture in treating the common and disabling problem of pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Two small trials on mixed pelvic/back pain and 1 large high-quality trial on pelvic pain met the inclusion criteria. Acupuncture, as an adjunct to standard treatment, was superior to sta...
Article
Primary dysmenorrhoea is the occurrence of painful menstrual cramps in the absence of pelvic pathology. This review discusses alternative approaches to the management of this debilitating condition.

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Projects (4)
Project
Evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of SMAs with mindfulness for T2D
Project
Evaluate effective interventions for managing weight gain after breast cancer