Holsworth Research Initiative

Our research focusses on exercise, physical activity and rehabilitation.

Michael Matyevich

Investigating the influence of caseload midwifery on physiological responsiveness to stress in mothers and midwives


Professor Michael Kingsley and Dr. Brad Wright              

Michael completed an Undergraduate degree in Psychological Sciences at La Trobe University, including an Honours year supervised by Dr Brad Wright in 2021 investigating how chronic workplace stress influences cognition. During his studies, Michael worked as a Behaviour Support Practitioner and Data Analyst at My Right 2 Voice, a NDIS provider of specialist disability services. It was here that Michael says he was inspired to undertake a PhD after experiencing how evidence-based practice, informed by quantitative knowledge, can make meaningful changes to the lives of those most vulnerable.

The physiological response to stress in mothers and midwives

A wealth of research links chronic and occupational stress with poor health outcomes. However, less is known about the relationship between physiological responsiveness to stress and chronic stress. This is particularly pertinent for vulnerable groups such as pregnant mothers and midwives who are ‘at-risk’ of experiencing negative health and behavioural outcomes related to chronic stress.

Looking towards the confirmation of candidature

Michael began his PhD in mid-2022 and has plans to meet the first milestone of the doctorate, confirmation of candidature, in May 2023. Over the next three months, Michael hopes to complete a draft manuscript of the first paper from his thesis as well as completing ethics applications for studies 2 and 3. By the end of 2023, Michael hopes to have completed data collection for all studies from his thesis and to have published his first study in a peer-reviewed journal.

Reflecting on his studies so far

Michael reports that the first year of his PhD has taught him about the research process, including research formulation, ethics applications, data collection and analysis techniques. He also credits his doctorate with improving his ability to critically appraise research and better formulate and articulate his views.

When thinking about his future career, Michael hopes that his studies equip him with the ability to produce high quality research so that he can continue to inform how health and well-being can be positively impacted for the most vulnerable groups within the community.

From the Bendigo Braves to winter discipline Olympic athletes, if you missed out last blog mini-series speaking with past research students you can find it here.