News and Events
Advancing Physiotherapy practice in Vietnam
A/Prof Prue Morgan was in Vietnam recently to facilitate a stakeholder workshop targeted at advancing the quality of physiotherapy practice in Vietnam. She said it was wonderful to work with so many enthusiastic physiotherapy educators from north, central and south Vietnam, alongside Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education delegates, regional physiotherapy associations (Taiwan, Japan and Australia), funders, NGOs and Belgian collaborators under the World Confederation of Physical Therapists umbrella. The project focused on identifying necessary steps to be taken - such as reshaping curriculum to focus much more on evidence based practice and clinical reasoning skill development - to achieve internationally recognised physiotherapy in the future.
VC Awards Success for Physio
Congratulations to Narelle Dalwood from the Physiotherapy department on her Vice Chancellors Award for Education Excellence for outstanding contribution to student learning. This award recognises the development and implementation of the innovative peer simulation program that third year Physiotherapy students undertake that engages students to accurately portray patient scenarios during simulation based education. Peer simulation aims to optimise students' learning outcomes by guiding them from campus based learning towards learning with real patients in health services amongst health care teams.
Physiotherapy’s A/Prof Shapour Jaberzadeh and his team (Dr Farshad Mansouri, Professor Mark Buckley) have been successful in this round of funding for their project “The neural basis of the cognitive effects of prefrontal cortex stimulation.” They have received $560,000 for the project which aims to discover what exactly happens to brain cells (neurons) when transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is administered.
Congratulations to A/Prof Peter Malliaras also from the Department of Physiotherapy who was successful in an NHMRC project grant for his work regarding the Efficacy of high volume injections compared to sham following failure of conservative therapy for Achilles tendinopathy.
Peter was also successful in obtaining a 2019 Arthritis Australia Project grant worth $30,000 for his study of Internet-based management for rotator cuff tendinopathy.
More success for Physiotherapy with Helena Frawley and her team were recently awarded a Physiotherapy Research Foundation (PRF) Seeding Grant for their pilot RCT: 'Can pre- and post- operative pelvic floor muscle training reduce pelvic floor dysfunction in patients undergoing gynaecological cancer treatment?'
The project will be collaborative with Monash Health, Cabrini Health, Royal Women’s Hospital, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Melbourne Health.
My Support Space Launch
Monash University and our project partners invite you to the launch of My Support Space.
My Support Space is an online resource which offers free education and information resources for disability support workers, health professional students and graduates, and Allied Health Assistants working with people with acquired brain injury (ABI) within supported living environments. The resource was developed by a project team, from Monash University, in partnership with people with lived experience of ABI and a range of community health professional and disability service organisations. This project was funded through the Innovative Workforce Fund from the Department of Social Services, managed by National Disability Services.
The My Support Space initiative complements the My Home Space online resource, which is now active (see www.myhomespace.org). My Home Space was developed with a grant through the Research and Data Working Group from the Department of Social Services.
To go to the event 1st of August 9:00am-4:30pm head to eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/my-support-space-registration-47578172595
Treating shoulder pain via the internet: Developing a multimedia website for shoulder pain sufferers
The Department of Physiotherapy’s Dr Luke Perraton, Associate Professor Peter Malliaras, and Associate Professor Stephen Maloney together with Dr Kirsten Ellis (Department of Information Technology) were recently awarded a $5000 SPAHC Seeding Grant to develop and investigate the effectiveness of a website to educate people about shoulder pain.
The research team have developed a robust user-informed education intervention for people with rotator cuff related shoulder pain. The Seeding grant will fund the development of a multimedia website based on this intervention. Website content and multimedia delivery preferences will be refined using focus groups involving patients and expert shoulder clinician-researchers, to maximise user-engagement, adherence and experience. This multimedia internet-based intervention will be evaluated in an innovative pilot and feasibility randomized trial, the findings of which will inform an application for NHMRC funding for a larger substantive trial to compare the effectiveness of conventional and web-based rotator cuff education interventions.
Physiotherapy Graduate in the New
Congratulations to Physiotherapy graduate Brodie Nankervis, whose recent publication of his honours research in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport caught the interest of The Herald Sun, in their Wednesday Feb 14 edition. Brodie’s work investigates the social media behaviours of injured Australian Football League players, as a precursor to further investigations for designing social media support strategies into physical and mental recovery from injury. The mixed method study followed 335 injuries from 317 professional AFL players during the 2015 season, revealing changes in social media behaviours before, during and after injury.
On the back of the Herald Sun article, Brodie presented on the national radio show, Football Nation, in their High Performance segment. The work was supported by his supervisory team of Stephen Maloney and Mick Storr, Dragan Ilic (School of Public Health), and collaborating authors Cameron Gosling (DCEHPP) and Mark Young (Geelong Football Club).
Herald Sun subscribers can view the story here.
Grant Success - Physiotherapy
Congratulations to A/Prof Helena Frawley and the women's health team on being awarded a PRF Project Grant Application - Pelvic floor dysfunction in women with gynaecological cancer.
Associate Profesor Ilana Ackerman and Sze-Ee Soh have also been successful in obtaining an Arthritis Australia & State/Territory Affiliate Grant for their project Falls prevention: The missing element in osteoarthritis care. This project aims to identify falls risk factors specific to people with hip or knee osteoarthritis, understand current osteoarthritis clinical practice in relation to falls prevention, and explore barriers and enablers to participation in falls prevention activities. It will also develop key recommendations and clinician and consumer resources for falls risk assessment and falls prevention in osteoarthritis.
They have also had an editorial 'Opportunities for cross-disciplinary care partnerships in physiotherapy' accepted for publication in the April 2018 edition of the Journal of Physiotherapy.
Louisa Xie awarded Kate Scanlon Award
On behalf of the staff and students of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (hons), congratulations goes to Louisa Xie on being peer voted this year's Kate Scanlon Award winner.
As you are aware, the physiotherapy degree is known to require not only a high level of academic ability, but also perseverance and resilience. This peer-voted non-academic award recognises your contribution to supporting your fellow students over the last 2 years, and is in memory of Kate Scanlon, a Year 2 student who embraced all aspects of university life and was tragically killed at the conclusion of Year 2 in 2011.
This prestigious award will be presented at a Faculty-wide presentation evening early next year.
Collaborative Interprofessional Healthcare: Vietnam 2017 – Our Second Group Takes Off!
A second interprofessional group of students is heading over to Ho Chi Minh City for our 4 week international student health immersion program which starts on Monday 20th Nov.
Ten students have been selected to participate from Physio, Paramedics, Nursing and Occupational Therapy. They will spend a week on in-country orientation activities and the following 3 weeks in health care immersion placements at 3 different local hospitals and a field trip to a rural health service in Tay Ninh. Our lucky two Physio students are Nicola Johnson and Ryan Bong, both from the 2017 Year 3 cohort. Nic and Ryan have both travelled before with Nic having spent a few months working in Vietnam previously teaching English, so they will bring some good past experience to the program.
Based on input from last year’s group, this year we have created some additional learning support resources to help the students get the most out of their hospital immersion time and to assist them to identify the learning opportunities that may not be obvious.
You can read more here: https://ipevietnamprogram.wordpress.com
Advancing Woman in Research Grant and working with the the Great Foundation team
Cylie Williams is currently in the UK as part of the Advancing Woman in Research Grant and working with the the Great Foundation team.
She has been invited to help with their translation strategy and how they can look at embedding the results from their study into podiatry and physiotherapy curriculum in the UK, and how to best educate health professionals about the growing foot. We thought our gait project with 2-4 year olds was hard, the team in the UK are getting crawlers, pre-walkers and new walkers on gait equipment, pressure mats and using 3D gait analysis and scanning.
This project is run over two university, University of Brighton and the University of Salford.
You can read about their amazing research here: https://greatfoundations.org.uk
Seeding grant success
Congratulations to Jodie Dakic from the Department of Physiotherapy for being awarded a Physiotherapy Research Foundation Seeding Grant for the project 'Are pelvic floor disorders a barrier to women's participation in their chosen exercise and how do physiotherapists screen and manage them?'
Fellow Physiotherapy department colleagues Helena Frawley and Kuan-Yin are associated investigators on the project, as well as Jill Cook from Latrobe University.
Prue Morgan completes Churchill Fellowship Report
Associate Professor Prue Morgan, Head of the Physiotherapy department has completed the Churchill Fellowship report:
To gain new knowledge regarding optimising physical function in adults ageing with cerebral palsy - Norway, Netherlands, Canada, US
Adults with cerebral palsy (CP) are a significant community in Australia who experience unique health challenges as they age, attributed to their developmental disability, resulting in abnormal neurological and musculoskeletal systems. Although Australia is a world leader in paediatric care for CP, their adult counterparts have experienced challenges in accessing quality health services targeted to their needs. This fellowship aimed to gain new knowledge about how to optimise physical function in adults with CP, as a standalone program, or embedded in a life skills program.
See Churchill Report: https://www.churchilltrust.com.au/fellows/detail/4151/Prue+Morgan
Churchill Fellowship Success
Associate Professor Prue Morgan, Head of the Physiotherapy department is one of 106 Australian's selected to travel throughout the world over the next year in search of new ideas, innovation and excellence as recipients of the prestigious Churchill Fellowship. Prue will visit experts in Norway, Netherlands, US and Canada to observe their programs that support adults ageing with cerebral palsy to inform best practice on her return to Australia.
Prue's project aims to gain new knowledge regarding optimising physical function in adults ageing with cerebral palsy; Three of every four people with cerebral palsy (CP) in Australia are adults. Health disorders differ from those experienced in the general population and those ageing with acquired disability regarding prevalence, age of onset, progression, severity and presenting manifestations.
Although there is emerging evidence to support community-based strengthening programs in young adults with CP, little is known about how to translate benefits to older adults, any impact on mobility, and sustainability of outcomes. This visit will enable Prue to learn best methods from world experts to inform Australian service delivery.
Jessica Yamin - Bachelor of Physiotherapy
A PASSION for helping people has led Jessica Yamin to fulfil her career goals of becoming a physiotherapist.
Jessica, now a Grade Two Physiotherapist in public health, completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Monash University in 2011.
She now works in rehabilitation and is also a supervisor for physiotherapy students on placement.
“Placements in uni have really helped me in the workplace, but also help relate and support students on placement,” Jessica said.
“The people I have met have also continued to support me in my career as it feels like everyone knows each other in the field.”
Jessica chose to study at Monash for a number of reasons, including the “interactive and practical” course, the location and the smaller cohort.
“Being a smaller cohort you get to know everyone and the lecturers really enjoy their work and keep reviewing the course based on feedback and recent evidence,” she said.
Congratulations to Dr. Christian Osadnik from the Department of Physiotherapy who was recently invited to become a member of the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW) 'National Asthma and Other Chronic Respiratory Conditions Monitoring Advisory Group’ in recognition of his expertise in the management of chronic respiratory conditions.
AIHW manages the National Centre for Monitoring Asthma and Other Chronic Respiratory Conditions to undertake surveillance and monitoring of asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions. This includes monitoring their determinants, covering prevention, treatment, management, mortality, and differences between population groups; with an emphasis on cross-disease work reflecting the interrelated nature of many chronic diseases and their determinants.
Dr. Osadnik's involvement will focus primarily on the management of respiratory conditions in primary health care and the burden of chronic respiratory conditions using the 2011 Australian Burden of Disease Study data (a major national epidemiological study that has provided crucial insight into the respiratory health of Australians).
Staff success at Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) Conference
Congratulations to Jodie Dakic from the Department of Physiotherapy, and her co- investigators Dr Cameron Gosling from the Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, and Ms. Belinda Smith (Women’s Tennis Association) who submitted two abstracts from a research project they are conducting as a collaboration with the Women's Tennis Association in Florida, USA.
The project is investigating a Musculoskeletal Tennis Specific Screening Tool aiming to identify players at risk of injury. Their presentation titled “Musculoskeletal injury profile in professional Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) players” won the award of ASICS Best Poster – Injury Prevention. Well done!
Collaborative Interprofessional Health Care in Vietnam
A group of students from within our Faculty are setting off on a new initiative exploring interdisciplinary health care in a completely different context. Twelve students will travel to Ho Chi Min City in Vietnam during November and December 2016 to meet local health professionals and Australian Aid workers.
This 4 week international student mobility program is a pilot project of undergraduate interprofessional practice and volunteering led by Alison Francis-Cracknell from the Physiotherapy department, building upon Alison’s own healthcare volunteering experience in Vietnam in 2012/2013. It is a joint project of the Departments of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice and the School of Nursing and Midwifery, supported by Monash Abroad, the School of Primary Health Care and external engagement with Scope Global project management.
Students will have the opportunity to explore health and health education in Vietnam, meeting with staff and students from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City, visiting 4 hospitals and a rural community health service, undertake local language classes and meet with Australian health volunteers currently working in Vietnam. They will also work on group projects aimed at developing their international health care perspective, cultural capabilities and insight into the delivery of culturally appropriate healthcare services.
Innovation award Success
Congratulations to Narelle Dalwood from the Department of Physiotherapy on being awarded an inaugural OLT Teacher Innovation and Impact Award for Innovation for her work 'Unmasking the reality’ of clinical placements: The impact of concealing identity on peer simulation.
MU-OLT Teacher Innovation and Impact Award
Congratulations to Narelle Dalwood for receiving the MU-OLT Teacher Innovation and Impact Award.
The Monash University Office of Learning and Teaching received a considerable number of high quality applications with Narelle's work being judged as outstanding by the selection committee. Thanks Narelle for all your wonderful efforts in advancing excellent teaching and learning in Physiotherapy.
Innovation:'Unmasking the reality’ of clinical placements: The impact of concealing identity on peer simulation
Physiotherapy visits Alice Springs
Alison Francis-Cracknell and Prue Morgan from the Department of Physiotherapy recently spent three days with physiotherapy colleagues at Alice Springs Hospital. The aim of the visit was to build clinical partnerships between Monash University and Alice Springs, with four Year 4 students planned to complete elective clinical placements there later this year.
Alison ran two clinical educator workshops, and Prue delivered a training session on Vestibular Rehabilitation, which were well received by the ASH physiotherapy staff who have little opportunity to engage with traditional professional development opportunities.
Alison and Prue also got to catch up with a Monash physiotherapy new graduate, Sophie Lichoudaris, at work at ASH and speak to her about her experiences in providing health services to Aboriginal people, which was wonderful. Alfred Hospital also provides a rotating Grade 1 physiotherapist to ASH, which assists in strengthening the commitment between the Alfred, Monash University and Alice Springs Hospital. The Physiotherapy department look forward to growing their relationship with ASH further over the coming years.
New Associate Professor for Physiotherapy
The School would like to welcome Associate Professor Peter Malliaras to the Department of Physiotherapy. Since completing his PhD in 2006, Peter has had two post-doctoral research stints, in universities in the UK. He has also maintained a strong clinical focus and has expertise in the management of chronic unresponsive musculoskeletal pain, in particularly tendinopathy.
A specific area of interest is learning more about the factors that explain clinical improvements seen in patients. Peter is particularly interested in the management of sports related injuries, and has a number of PhD students in the UK and Australia exploring issues pertaining to tendon dysfunction.
Online learning package delivered to community and rural physiotherapists
A shortage of physiotherapists with the skills and confidence to manage cerebral palsy in infants and children led Prue Morgan to apply for funding from the Pat Cosh Trust Fund to deliver an online learning package targeted at community and rural physiotherapists
‘We’re aware of a number of paediatric physiotherapists that, because of their location, struggle to find time and money for face-to-face training. A number also work part-time or have paediatrics as a component of their case load, so it’s hard for them to prioritise professional development for that specific area,’ Prue explains.
There are also a number of paediatric physiotherapists who are working mothers, with competing demands on their time outside work hours, when much professional development takes place.
Flexible and affordable professional development was needed to develop the skills of these clinicians in managing cerebral palsy. Prue and a team of five physiotherapists, plus a project officer, built on two previous online learning packages developed through Monash Children’s Hospital to design a structured online learning program.
Physiotherapists and return to work practise, patients and policies
About Ross Iles:
Ross Iles is a senior lecturer in Physiotherapy at Monash University and a research fellow at the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR). Ross also has clinical experience across the private practice physiotherapy and home visit physiotherapy, with a particular musculoskeletal focus.
About the webinar:
General practitioners have traditionally certified and been the main decision makers about a worker's work capacity. Physiotherapists in Victoria have been active in improving their management of return to work. This panel discussion explores physiotherapy strategic approaches to improve certification, return to work discussions, and through better RTW results improve the worker's health outcomes. This webinar aims to inform policymakers, WorkCover managers, and those who wish to see improvement in return to work at a policy level. We discuss: initiatives to educate and influence physiotherapists in RTW results of physiotherapists improving health outcomes by improving return to work results the opportunities physiotherapists have to influence patients methods to encourage regular communication between the treating physiotherapists and the workplace
Best Thesis Award
Congratulations to Ebonie Rio from the Department of Physiotherapy who recently won the Mollie Holman medal. The Mollie Holman Medal is awarded to PhD students who have fulfilled all requirements for the degree and are judged to have presented the best doctoral theses of the year for their Faculty. Ebonie’s Thesis title was titled “Corticospinal changes associated with patellar tendinopathy and the effects of externally paced strength training”, and her supervisors were Professor Jill Cook, Professor Lorimer Moseley, Dr. Dawson kidgell, Dr Jamie Gaida. What a prestigious achievement!
Associate Professor Stephen Maloney, Department of Physiotherapy has received a Monash Graduate Education development grant to the value of $10,000 for his research into the role of social media in communicating research findings. Congratulations Stephen!
Mask study with Physio students
You could be forgiven for thinking you had walked into a hospital ward if you were wandering through the physiotherapy practical rooms recently. Third year physiotherapy students are donning masks and costumes to take part in an exciting new research project funded by a 2016 SPHC Learning and Teaching Grant and there have been lots of elderly ‘patients’ being put through their paces!
The research team, headed by Narelle Dalwood and involving Prue Morgan, Stephen Maloney, Cameron Gosling and Ruben Hopmans, are investigating low cost, low fidelity simulation as a method of preparing students for clinical placement and the realities of patient interaction. During the nine week pre-clinical programme students participate in peer simulation for four hours every Thursday morning. Clinical scenarios based on authentic patient presentations are used, and students take turns in playing the part of a ‘patient’ and a ‘physiotherapist.’ Tutors circulate the room and interact with the students as ‘clinical supervisors’. The study is investigating whether the use of masks and costumes for the ‘patients’ increases the realism and educational benefits of the interaction. In the words of one student ‘I felt more emotion towards patient, more empathy’ and another ‘thoroughly enjoyed the clinical simulation as it puts in perspective the real difficulties and problems that real life physiotherapists have to deal with’. The data from the randomised, controlled trial is currently being analysed and will provide important insights into the utility, feasibility and benefits of this exciting educational innovation.
New non-invasive brain stimulation technique for pain management
Researchers from the Department of Physiotherapy have discovered a new technique to enhance and maintain brain excitability that could increase sensory and pain threshold, which could be used to alleviate chronic pain in people who cannot take medication.
The current treatment method used is single-site transcranial direct current simulation (tDCS), which is the application of a low intensity direct (constant) current between two surface electrodes on the head. The treatments are favored, as they are non-invasive with no or minimal side effects.
However, in two papers, the most recent in the European Journal of Neuroscience, Dr Shapour Jaberzadeh, Director of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation & Neuroplasticity Laboratory, Dr Bita Vaseghi and Dr Mayam Zoghi, describes a technique, unihemispheric dual site tDCS, that significantly increases the brain excitability, and maintains it for significantly longer periods than current single site tDCS technique. This opens the way for these techniques to be used in the treatment of chronic pain without the risk of side or adverse effects of medication.
According to Dr Shapour Jaberzadeh, it has long been known that cortical changes can influence behavioural changes. Pain is a behavioral variable which could be modified by tDCS induced cortical change. This has been shown by stimulating various areas of the cortex while assessing volunteers sensory and pain thresholds.
However, the Physiotherapy researchers found, compared to single site tDCS, a 10 minute simultaneous application of anodal or cathodal tDCS over two cortical sites led to markedly increased excitation that lasted for 24 hours.
Further tests revealed that this unique approach led to a significant increase in the participant’s pain threshold. The novel discovery means that a treatment of just 10 minutes with new dual site stimulation using either anode or cathode could provide a valuable alternative for the treatment of chronic pain, which should be explored in future studies.
Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy 10 year celebration
Earlier this year we celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the establishment of the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy departments at the Peninsula Campus. Guests included the Honorable Bruce Billson MP, along with the founding heads of departments Professor Jenny Keating and A/Professor Lou Farnworth, Emeritus Professor Phillip Steele, the Dean of Medicine Professor Christina Mitchell, PVC Professor Leon Piterman and many other past and present members of staff and industry partners.
Well done to everyone involved in the establishment and ongoing success of these esteemed programs.
Congratulations to Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles from the Department of Physiotherapy for receiving a Researcher in Residence 3 month internship with Mary Wooldridge, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Leader of the Liberal Party in the Legislative Council, Shadow Minister for Health in the Victorian Parliament.
Congratulations to Terry Haines from Physiotherapy and his team on their recent Victorian Cancer Agency grant success. The funding will allow work to continue in testing better ways to provide early intervention dietetic services for people with upper gastrointestinal cancer.
- 2016-2019 Better quality of life for cancer patients through early e-health program Victorian Cancer Agency 299,981.00 T Haines, H Truby, C Huggins, J Bauer, M Silvers, J Savva, H Frawley, J Barnett, P Cashin, L Low
Dr. Christian Osadnik, also from the Department of Physiotherapy, was recently announced as the sole recipient of the 2016/17 Lung Foundation Australia / Boerhinger Ingelheim COPD Research Fellowship. This award will allow Christian to undertake a 2-year full-time research project based at Monash Lung and Sleep (Monash Health) under the supervision of Professor Phil Bardin (Department of Medicine, Monash University) and fellow Physiotherapy colleague Professor Terry Haines. The project will commence in late 2016 and will explore the relationship between recovery of physical function after acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and different exacerbation aetiologies.
Melanie Farlie, a physiotherapist working at Monash Health concurrently undertaking her PhD in the Department of Physiotherapy has been awarded the prestigious Maxwell King PhD Scholarship. This scholarship has been created to honour Professor Maxwell King, who made an outstanding contribution to graduate research at Monash University, including eight years as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training). The Maxwell King PhD Scholarship is awarded to the best applicant undertaking a PhD degree in any field of study, based on outstanding academic mer-it. Melanie's project is titled “Development of a scale to rate intensity of balance challenge”. Her supervisors are Professor Terry Haines, Professor Jenny Keating, and A/Professor Elizabeth Molloy.
Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning – Physiotherapy success
Congratulations to Dr Stephen Maloney from the Department of Physiotherapy, who is one of four Monash recipients honoured for an awards for University Teaching: Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Stephen was successful for his unique approaches in health professional education for enhancing and measuring the student experience, attainment of learning outcomes, and early engagement with industry. Congratulations Stephen!
Physio Funding success
Dr Narelle Cox has recently received funding as part of a research collaboration initiative. In 2016, Narelle will spend 6-weeks working with A/Prof Veronique Pepin and her team within the pulmonary rehabilitation research program at Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur and Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Together, they will be working on developing methods of data processing and analysis applicable to sleep data which has been obtained from physical activity monitoring devices (accelerometry) specifically in people with chronic respiratory disease. This crossdisciplinary collaboration, including physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, sleep physicians and engineers, provides the opportunity to better understand relationship between physical activity and sleep in people with chronic respiratory disease, and the impact this has on health and healthcare utilisation.