Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Otago Medical School staff profiles

Rachel Sayers

PositionAssistant Research Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Women's and Children's Health (DSM)
QualificationsMHealSc ADN RN
Research summaryPaediatric Sleep, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Infant Irritability

Research

I am currently employed part time (0.5) as an Assistant Research Fellow on the Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) Study (funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand). The POI study is a large randomised controlled trial to prevent excessive weight gain in early childhood. Within this 4-arm trial, some participants have received extra education around infant sleep. Although I am involved in many aspects of this study, I am specifically interested in those who have received this sleep education.

Paediatric Sleep

I have been involved in various research projects in regard to infant sleep. I completed the Sleep Technologists Course at Sydney University in 1999. I was employed by the Otago District Health Board/Healthcare Otago as the Paediatric Sleep Nurse for clinical sleep studies (1996–2003).

Infant Irritability

My Master's thesis focussed on "Irritability in early infancy: prevalence and predictive factors". The aim of this prospective cohort study was to determine the prevalence of infant irritability in the Otago region and to describe parental views about the clinical approach to, and treatment of, irritable infants. 785 families from Otago took part by completing two questionnaires, one at the time their baby was born, and the other when the baby was nine weeks of age.

Other studies/roles

Prior to the POI study, I have worked on a variety of studies within the Department and I have had varying roles within this work (since 1994). This has included: recruitment of participants, database management, set up and completion of studies, as well as some analysis and writing up of results. Some of these include:

  • SIDS Research Studies
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Children and Adolescents
  • Type 1 Diabetes Study: TrialNet, Natural History Study

From 2006 to 2009 I was Research Nurse and Teaching Coordinator for the Department and I was responsible for coordinating the chronic condition longitudinal case for the 4th/5th year medical students and for providing support for teaching and research within the Department. During this time I was also the Departmental Health and Safety Officer (DHSO).

Publications

Hatch, B., Gray, A. R., Taylor, R. W., Hanna, M., Heath, A.-L., Lawrence, J., Sayers, R., & Taylor, B. (2019). Examining the accuracy of the New Zealand B4 School Check universal health service anthropometric measurements of children. New Zealand Medical Journal, 132(1489), 89-101. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Taylor, R. W., Gray, A. R., Heath, A.-L. M., Galland, B. C., Lawrence, J., Sayers, R., Healey, D., Tannock, G. W., Meredith-Jones, K. A., Hanna, M., Hatch, B., & Taylor, B. J. (2018). Sleep, nutrition, and physical activity interventions to prevent obesity in infancy: Follow-up of the Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) randomized controlled trial at ages 3.5 and 5 y. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 108(2), 228, 236. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy090

Lawrence, J., Taylor, R. W., Galland, B., Williams, S., Gray, A., Sayers, R. M., & Taylor, B. (2018). Family discipline practices with infants at six months of age. Child Care in Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13575279.2018.1463969

Taylor, R. W., Haszard, J. J., Meredith-Jones, K. A., Galland, B. C., Heath, A.-L. M., Lawrence, J., Gray, A. R., Sayers, R., Hanna, M., & Taylor, B. J. (2018). 24-h movement behaviors from infancy to preschool: Cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships with body composition and bone health. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 15, 118. doi: 10.1186/s12966-018-0753-6

Meredith-Jones, K., Haszard, J., Moir, C., Heath, A.-L., Lawrence, J., Galland, B., Taylor, B., Gray, A., Sayers, R., & Taylor, R. (2018). Physical activity and inactivity trajectories associated with body composition in pre-schoolers. International Journal of Obesity, 42, 1621-1630. doi: 10.1038/s41366-018-0058-5

Journal - Research Article

Hatch, B., Gray, A. R., Taylor, R. W., Hanna, M., Heath, A.-L., Lawrence, J., Sayers, R., & Taylor, B. (2019). Examining the accuracy of the New Zealand B4 School Check universal health service anthropometric measurements of children. New Zealand Medical Journal, 132(1489), 89-101. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Taylor, R. W., Gray, A. R., Heath, A.-L. M., Galland, B. C., Lawrence, J., Sayers, R., Healey, D., Tannock, G. W., Meredith-Jones, K. A., Hanna, M., Hatch, B., & Taylor, B. J. (2018). Sleep, nutrition, and physical activity interventions to prevent obesity in infancy: Follow-up of the Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) randomized controlled trial at ages 3.5 and 5 y. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 108(2), 228, 236. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy090

Meredith-Jones, K., Haszard, J., Moir, C., Heath, A.-L., Lawrence, J., Galland, B., Taylor, B., Gray, A., Sayers, R., & Taylor, R. (2018). Physical activity and inactivity trajectories associated with body composition in pre-schoolers. International Journal of Obesity, 42, 1621-1630. doi: 10.1038/s41366-018-0058-5

Taylor, R. W., Haszard, J. J., Meredith-Jones, K. A., Galland, B. C., Heath, A.-L. M., Lawrence, J., Gray, A. R., Sayers, R., Hanna, M., & Taylor, B. J. (2018). 24-h movement behaviors from infancy to preschool: Cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships with body composition and bone health. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 15, 118. doi: 10.1186/s12966-018-0753-6

Lawrence, J., Taylor, R. W., Galland, B., Williams, S., Gray, A., Sayers, R. M., & Taylor, B. (2018). Family discipline practices with infants at six months of age. Child Care in Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13575279.2018.1463969

Howe, A. S., Heath, A.-L. M., Lawrence, J., Galland, B. C., Gray, A. R., Taylor, B. J., Sayers, R., & Taylor, R. W. (2017). Parenting style and family type, but not child temperament, are associated with television viewing time in children at two years of age. PLoS ONE, 12(12), e0188558. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188558

Taylor, R. W., Iosua, E., Heath, A.-L. M., Gray, A. R., Taylor, B. J., Lawrence, J. A., Hanna, M., Cameron, S. L., Sayers, R., & Galland, B. (2017). Eating frequency in relation to BMI in very young children: A longitudinal analysis. Public Health Nutrition, 20(8), 1372-1379. doi: 10.1017/S1368980017000143

Galland, B. C., Sayers, R. M., Cameron, S. L., Gray, A. R., Heath, A.-L. M., Lawrence, J. A., Newlands, A., Taylor, B. J., & Taylor, R. W. (2017). Anticipatory guidance to prevent infant sleep problems within a randomised controlled trial: Infant, maternal and partner outcomes at 6 months of age. BMJ Open, 7(5), e014908. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014908

Taylor, B. J., Gray, A. R., Galland, B. C., Heath, A.-L. M., Lawrence, J., Sayers, R. M., Cameron, S., Hanna, M., Dale, K., Coppell, K. J., & Taylor, R. W. (2017). Targeting sleep, food, and activity in infants for obesity prevention: An RCT. Pediatrics, 139(3), e20162037. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-2037

Taylor, R. W., Heath, A.-L. M., Galland, B. C., Cameron, S. L., Lawrence, J. A., Gray, A. R., Tannock, G. W., Lawley, B., Healey, D., Sayers, R. M., Hanna, M., Meredith-Jones, K., Hatch, B., & Taylor, B. J. (2016). Three-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial to reduce excessive weight gain in the first two years of life: Protocol for the POI follow-up study. BMC Public Health, 16, 771. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3383-4

Galland, B., Meredith-Jones, K., Gray, A., Sayers, R., Lawrence, J., Taylor, B., & Taylor, R. (2016). Criteria for nap identification in infants and young children using 24-h actigraphy and agreement with parental diary. Sleep Medicine, 19, 85-92. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2015.10.013

Moir, C., Meredith-Jones, K., Taylor, B. J., Gray, A., Heath, A.-L. M., Dale, K., Galland, B., Lawrence, J., Sayers, R. M., & Taylor, R. W. (2016). Early intervention to encourage physical activity in infants and toddlers: A randomized controlled trial. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 48(12), 2446-2453. doi: 10.1249/mss.0000000000001055

Cameron, S. L., Heath, A.-L. M., Gray, A. R., Churcher, B., Davies, R. S., Newlands, A., Galland, B. C., Sayers, R. M., Lawrence, J. A., Taylor, B. J., & Taylor, R. W. (2015). Lactation consultant support from late pregnancy with an educational intervention at 4 months of age delays the introduction of complementary foods in a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Nutrition, 145(7), 1481-1490. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.202689

Fangupo, L. J., Heath, A.-L. M., Williams, S. M., Somerville, M. R., Lawrence, J. A., Gray, A. R., Taylor, B. J., Mills, V. C., Watson, E. O., Galland, B. C., Sayers, R. M., Hanna, M. B., & Taylor, R. W. (2015). Impact of an early-life intervention on the nutrition behaviors of 2-y-old children: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 102(3), 704-712. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.111823

Robertson-Smith, J., McCaffrey, F. T., Sayers, R., Williams, S., & Taylor, B. J. (2015). A comparison of mid-forehead and axillary temperatures in newborn intensive care. Journal of Perinatology, 35, 120-122. doi: 10.1038/jp.2014.148

Galland, B. C., Gray, A., Sayers, R. M., Heath, A.-L. M., Lawrence, J., Taylor, R., & Taylor, B. J. (2014). Safe sleep practices in a New Zealand community and development of a Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) risk assessment instrument. BMC Pediatrics, 14, 263. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-14-263

Taylor, B. J., Heath, A.-L. M., Galland, B. C., Gray, A. R., Lawrence, J. A., Sayers, R. M., Dale, K., Coppell, K. J., & Taylor, R. W. (2011). Prevention of overweight in infancy (POI.nz) study: A randomised controlled trial of sleep, food and activity interventions for preventing overweight from birth. BMC Public Health, 11, 942. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-942

Galland, B. C., Jackson, P. M., Sayers, R. M., & Taylor, B. J. (2008). A matched case control study of orthostatic intolerance in children/adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome. Pediatric Research, 63(2), 196-202.

Galland, B. C., Taylor, B. J., Bolton, D. P. G., & Sayers, R. M. (2006). Heart rate variability and cardiac reflexes in small for gestational age infants. Journal of Applied Physiology, 100, 933-939.

Galland, B. C., Taylor, B. J., Bolton, D. P., & Sayers, R. (2003). Respiratory responses to hypoxia/hypercapnia in small for gestational age infants influenced by maternal smoking. Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal & Neonatal Edition, 88, F217-F222.

Campbell, A. J., Galland, B. C., Bolton, D. P., Taylor, B. J., Sayers, R. M., & Williams, S. M. (2001). Ventilatory responses to rebreathing in infants exposed to maternal smoking. Acta Paediatrica, 90, 793-800.

Hayman, R. M., Taylor, B. J., Peart, N. S., Galland, B. C., & Sayers, R. M. (2001). Participation in research: Informed consent, motivation and influence. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 37(1), 51-54.

Galland, B. C., Taylor, B. J., Bolton, D. P. G., & Sayers, R. M. (2000). Vasoconstriction following spontaneous sighs and head-up tilts in infants sleeping prone and supine. Early Human Development, 58, 119-132.

Galland, B. C., Hayman, R. M., Taylor, B. J., Bolton, D. P., Sayers, R., & Williams, S. M. (2000). Factors affecting heart rate variability and heart rate responses to tilting in infants aged 1 and 3 months. Pediatric Research, 48(3), 360-368.

Galland, B. C., Bolton, D. P., Taylor, B. J., Sayers, R., & Williams, S. M. (2000). Ventilatory sensitivity to mild asphyxia: Prone versus supine sleep position. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 83, 423-428.

Campbell, A., Bolton, D. P., Taylor, B. J., & Sayers, R. (1998). Responses to an increasing asphyxia in infants: effects of age and sleep state. Respiration Physiology, 112, 51-58.

More publications...