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OASIS: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial of

oral steroids for sciatica


Sciatica is a back pain condition with pain going down the back of the leg. It affects around 400,000 Australians each year and is most commonly caused by compression on the spinal nerve root due to a disc bulge. Unfortunately, there is a complete lack of simple, effective treatments for patients with acute sciatica.


Glucocorticoids (steroid medicines) have  anti-inflammatory actions that may target the inflammatory mechanism thought to be present to cause acute sciatica. Current evidence suggests that glucocorticoids may be effective in treating sciatica, but this needs further confirmation.

OASIS is a double-blind, randomised controlled trial of oral steroids for the reduction of leg pain severity in sciatica. We will establish whether adequate, sustained doses of oral steroids can effectively reduce pain, and be safe and cost-effective in people with acute sciatica.

Meet The Team

Operations team


Hanan McLachlan

Research Manager

The University of Sydney


Dr Giovanni Ferreira

Postdoctoral Research fellow

The University of Sydney



Melissa Webb

Research Coordinator

The University of Sydney


Melanie Hamilton 

Research Support Assistant

The University of Sydney

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Dr Chang Liu

PhD candidate

The University of Sydney


Principal Investigator

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Prof Christine Lin 

The University of Sydney

Chief Investigators


Prof Andrew McLachlan 

The University of Sydney

Prof Jane Latimer

The University of Sydney


Dr Christina Abdel Shaheed

The University of Sydney

Associate Investigators

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Prof Chris Maher 

The University of Sydney

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Prof Rachelle Buchbinder

 Monash University



Dr Bethan Richards 
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital


Prof Ric Day

UNSW Sydney


Qiang Li

UNSW Sydney

For more information:

Trial registration


The OASIS study is funded by an NHMRC project grant. The study is sponsored by The University of Sydney.

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