Mr Aaron Bezzina

Mr Aaron Bezzina

Research Assistant

School of Health Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

Aaron Bezzina is a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle and an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD).  

In 2020 Aaron commenced his PhD candidature at the University of Newcastle researching the effects of workplace wellness initiatives on health attitudes and behaviours within the Australian resource sector.

Aaron’s research interests include: workplace wellness and productivity, obesity, human factors and an array of occupational health and safety issues.


Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honors), University of Newcastle

Languages

  • English (Mother)

Professional Experience

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/3/2018 -  Research Assistant The University of Newcastle
Australia

Awards

Scholarship

Year Award
2020 Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships – Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Training Priority Scheme.
The University of Newcastle
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (10 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 James C, Bezzina A, Rahman MM, 'Task rotation in an underground coal mine: Implications on injury and musculoskeletal discomfort', Applied Ergonomics, 93 (2021) [C1]

Purpose: To investigate the effect of a task rotation schedule on musculoskeletal injury and the challenges of implementing a task rotation schedule within an underground coal min... [more]

Purpose: To investigate the effect of a task rotation schedule on musculoskeletal injury and the challenges of implementing a task rotation schedule within an underground coal mine. Methods: This was a pre-post cross-sectional intervention study with two underground coal mines. Participant-surveys were collected at baseline and 12-months. Results: There were no significant differences in musculoskeletal discomfort between the two sites in any body region. Tasks were rotated two to three times a shift on average. Conclusions: The task rotation schedule did not have a significant impact upon musculoskeletal discomfort although this does not necessarily reflect that the rotation schedule was in-effective in curbing injury, rather highlights the complexity of developing a successful task rotation schedule within an underground coal mine. The task rotation schedule, its implementation and execution need consideration and further investigation to assist in effectively controlling injury and fatigue risk.

DOI 10.1016/j.apergo.2021.103388
Co-authors Mdmijanur Rahman Uon, Carole James
2021 James CL, Tynan RJ, Bezzina AT, Rahman MM, Kelly BJ, 'Alcohol Consumption in the Australian Mining Industry: The Role of Workplace, Social, and Individual Factors', Workplace Health and Safety, 69 423-434 (2021)

Background: Coal miners have been reported to have higher rates of risky/harmful alcohol misuse; however, it is not known if metalliferous mining employees whose working condition... [more]

Background: Coal miners have been reported to have higher rates of risky/harmful alcohol misuse; however, it is not known if metalliferous mining employees whose working conditions differ in workplace practices, also have increased rates of risky/harmful alcohol misuse. This study aimed to examine alcohol consumption in a sample of Australian metalliferous mining workers and to examine the demographic and workplace factors associated with risky/harmful alcohol use. Methods: All employees from a convenience sample of four Australian mine sites were invited to complete a paper-based cross-sectional survey between June 2015 and May 2017. The survey contained questions relating to social networks, health behaviors, psychological distress, demographic characteristics, and risky/harmful drinking. Current alcohol use was measured by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), a validated measure of risky and/or harmful drinking. Factors associated with risky/harmful drinking were investigated using univariate and multivariable logistic regression. Findings: A total of 1,799 participants completed the survey (average site response rate 95%). Overall, 94.8% of males and 92.1% of females reported using alcohol in the preceding 12 months. The odds of risky/harmful alcohol use were significantly higher in those who were male, younger, and reported higher psychological distress. Conclusions/Application to Practice: This study identified that metalliferous mining employees engage in at-risk levels of alcohol consumption significantly higher than the national average despite workplace policies and practices that restrict alcohol use. Personal and workplace risk factors that may help target specific employee groups and inform the development of tailored, integrated multicomponent intervention strategies for the industry were identified.

DOI 10.1177/21650799211005768
Co-authors Carole James, Brian Kelly
2021 Haslam RL, Bezzina A, Herbert J, Spratt N, Rollo ME, Collins CE, 'Can ketogenic diet therapy improve migraine frequency, severity and duration?', Healthcare (Switzerland), 9 (2021)

Migraine is the third most common condition worldwide and is responsible for a major clinical and economic burden. The current pilot trial investigated whether ketogenic diet ther... [more]

Migraine is the third most common condition worldwide and is responsible for a major clinical and economic burden. The current pilot trial investigated whether ketogenic diet therapy (KDT) is superior to an evidence-informed healthy ¿anti-headache¿ dietary pattern (AHD) in im-proving migraine frequency, severity and duration. A 12-week randomised controlled crossover trial consisting of the two dietary intervention periods was undertaken. Eligible participants were those with a history of migraines and who had regularly experienced episodes of moderate or mildly intense headache in the previous 4 weeks. Migraine frequency, duration and severity were assessed via self-report in the Migraine Buddy© app. Participants were asked to measure urinary ketones and side effects throughout the KDT. Twenty-six participants were enrolled, and 16 participants completed all sessions. Eleven participants completed a symptom checklist; all reported side-effects during KDT, with the most frequently reported side effect being fatigue (n = 11). All completers experienced migraine during AHD, with 14/16 experiencing migraine during KDT. Differences in migraine frequency, severity or duration between dietary intervention groups were not statistically significant. However, a clinically important trend toward lower migraine duration on KDT was noted. Further research in this area is warranted, with strategies to lower participant burden and promote adherence and retention.

DOI 10.3390/healthcare9091105
Co-authors Neil Spratt, Clare Collins, Megan Rollo
2021 Bezzina A, Austin EK, Watson T, Ashton L, James CL, 'Health and wellness in the Australian coal mining industry: A cross sectional analysis of baseline findings from the RESHAPE workplace wellness program', PLoS ONE, 16 (2021) [C1]

Overweight and obesity has reach pandemic levels, with two-thirds (67%) of adult Australians classified as overweight or obese. As two of the most significant behavioral risk fact... [more]

Overweight and obesity has reach pandemic levels, with two-thirds (67%) of adult Australians classified as overweight or obese. As two of the most significant behavioral risk factors for obesity are modifiable (diet and exercise), there exists an opportunity for treatment through workplace health promotion initiatives. As one of Australia's largest industries with its own unique workplace factors, the mining industry has previously reported higher than population levels of overweight and obesity. This represented an opportune setting to test the RESHAPE workplace wellness program. RESHAPE is an eight-step framework (based on the WHO 'Health Workplace Framework and Model') which aims to provide a sustained approach to wellness in the workplace. This paper presents baseline findings from a pilot study that aimed to implement RESHAPE at three mine sites in NSW, Australia, and investigates the issue of overweight and obesity in the coal mining industry. Across three mine sites, 949 coal miners were examined cross-sectionally on a range of workplace, wellness, health, diet, and exercise factors using a paper-based survey. This was a predominantly male sample (90.4%) with the majority (59.2%) of participants aged 25-44 years. Selfreported height and weight measures indicated that less than 20 percent (18.9%) of participants were in a healthy BMI range, while there were effectively equal numbers of overweight (40.9%) and obese (39.1%) participants. Only 3.5% of participants met the daily recommendation for vegetables (5 serves) and shift-workers had greater association with elevated BMI compared to non-shift workers (B = 1.21, 95% CI: 0.23, 2.20, p = 0.016). Poor nutrition is likely to be a key component in elevated levels of overweight and obesity within this industry, with workplace factors compounding challenges workers face in implementing health behavior change. Future studies would benefit from assessing diet and physical activity knowledge in relation to recommendations and serving sizes.

DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0252802
Co-authors Lee Ashton, Emma Austin, Carole James
2021 Whatnall MC, Sharkey T, Hutchesson MJ, Haslam RL, Bezzina A, Collins CE, Ashton LM, 'Effectiveness of interventions and behaviour change techniques for improving physical activity in young adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis.', J Sports Sci, 39 1754-1771 (2021)
DOI 10.1080/02640414.2021.1898107
Co-authors Melinda Hutchesson, Megan Whatnall, Clare Collins, Lee Ashton
2021 Whatnall MC, Hutchesson MJ, Sharkey T, Haslam RL, Bezzina A, Collins CE, et al., 'Recruiting and retaining young adults: What can we learn from behavioural interventions targeting nutrition, physical activity and/or obesity? A systematic review of the literature', Public Health Nutrition, (2021)

Objective: To describe strategies used to recruit and retain young adults in nutrition, physical activity and/or obesity intervention studies, and quantify the success and efficie... [more]

Objective: To describe strategies used to recruit and retain young adults in nutrition, physical activity and/or obesity intervention studies, and quantify the success and efficiency of these strategies. Design: A systematic review was conducted. The search included six electronic databases to identify RCTs published up to 6th December 2019 that evaluated nutrition, physical activity and/or obesity interventions in young adults (17-35 years). Recruitment was considered successful if the pre-determined sample size goal was met. Retention was considered acceptable if =80% retained for =6-month follow-up or =70% for >6-month follow-up. Results: From 21,582 manuscripts identified, 107 RCTs were included. Universities were the most common recruitment setting used in 84 studies (79%). Less than half (46%) the studies provided sufficient information to evaluate whether individual recruitment strategies met sample size goals, with 77% successfully achieving recruitment targets. Reporting for retention was slightly better with 69% of studies providing sufficient information to determine whether individual retention strategies achieved adequate retention rates. Of these, 65% had adequate retention. Conclusions: This review highlights poor reporting of recruitment and retention information across trials. Findings may not be applicable outside a university setting. Guidance on how to improve reporting practices to optimise recruitment and retention strategies within young adults could assist researchers in improving outcomes.

DOI 10.1017/S1368980021001129
Co-authors Flora Tzelepis, Megan Whatnall, Clare Collins, Lee Ashton, Melinda Hutchesson
2020 Sharkey T, Whatnall MC, Hutchesson MJ, Haslam RL, Bezzina A, Collins CE, Ashton LM, 'Effectiveness of gender-targeted versus gender-neutral interventions aimed at improving dietary intake, physical activity and/or overweight/obesity in young adults (aged 17-35 years): a systematic review and meta-analysis', Nutrition journal, 19 78-98 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/s12937-020-00594-0
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Lee Ashton, Megan Whatnall, Clare Collins, Melinda Hutchesson
2020 Ashton LM, Sharkey T, Whatnall MC, Haslam RL, Bezzina A, Aguiar EJ, et al., 'Which behaviour change techniques within interventions to prevent weight gain and/or initiate weight loss improve adiposity outcomes in young adults? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials', OBESITY REVIEWS, 21 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/obr.13009
Citations Scopus - 13Web of Science - 12
Co-authors Megan Whatnall, Clare Collins, Lee Ashton, Melinda Hutchesson
2020 James C, Rahman M, Bezzina A, Kelly B, 'Factors associated with patterns of psychological distress, alcohol use and social network among Australian mineworkers', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 44 390-396 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/1753-6405.13037
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Mdmijanur Rahman Uon, Carole James, Brian Kelly
2019 Ashton LM, Sharkey T, Whatnall MC, Williams RL, Bezzina A, Aguiar EJ, et al., 'Effectiveness of Interventions and Behaviour Change Techniques for Improving Dietary Intake in Young Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of RCTs', NUTRIENTS, 11 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/nu11040825
Citations Scopus - 24Web of Science - 20
Co-authors Megan Whatnall, Melinda Hutchesson, Clare Collins, Lee Ashton
Show 7 more journal articles

Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Collins C, Bezzina A, Deroover K, Hartmann C, Bucher T, 'Do Images of Unhealthy Foods and Beverages Elicit Disgust or Fear; A Comparison of General Public and Nutrition Expert Responses', Do Images of Unhealthy Foods and Beverages Elicit Disgust or Fear; A Comparison of General Public and Nutrition Expert Responses, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2020)
DOI 10.3390/proceedings2020043002
Co-authors Tamara Bucher, Clare Collins
2020 Haslam R, Rollo M, Bezzina A, Spratt N, Collins C, 'Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of a Ketogenic Diet for Reducing Migraine Frequency, Severity and Duration', Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of a Ketogenic Diet for Reducing Migraine Frequency, Severity and Duration, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2020)
DOI 10.3390/proceedings2020043002
Co-authors Megan Rollo, Neil Spratt, Clare Collins
2020 Ashton L, Sharkey T, Whatnall M, Haslam R, Bezzina A, Auguiar E, et al., 'Which Behaviour-Change Techniques within Weight-Management Interventions Improve Adiposity Outcomes in Young Adults? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs)', Which Behaviour-Change Techniques within Weight-Management Interventions Improve Adiposity Outcomes in Young Adults? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs), Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2020)
DOI 10.3390/proceedings2020043002
Co-authors Lee Ashton, Clare Collins, Megan Whatnall, Melinda Hutchesson
2019 Sharkey T, Hutchesson M, Whatnall M, Haslam R, Bezzina A, Aguiar E, et al., 'Effectiveness of behaviour change techniques used in nutrition interventions in young adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised control trials', Gold Coast, Australia (2019)
DOI 10.1111/1747-0080.12567
Co-authors Clare Collins, Melinda Hutchesson, Lee Ashton, Megan Whatnall
Show 1 more conference
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Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

Country Count of Publications
Australia 13
Bangladesh 2
United Kingdom 2
United States 2
Switzerland 1
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Mr Aaron Bezzina

Position

Research Assistant
School of Health Sciences
College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing

Contact Details

Email aaron.bezzina@newcastle.edu.au
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