Oncologist Dr. Belinda Yeoh and a patient


Physiotherapy Research


The Physiotherapy Department at Austin Health has a strong program of research, which is overseen by the Director of Physiotherapy Research, Adjunct A/Professor Catherine Said with support from A/Professor Julie Bernhardt.

The research program covers a broad range of physiotherapy specialties across the acute, subacute and community sectors. Staff members have been successful in obtaining funding from a variety of sources, including NHMRC, Austin Medical Research Foundation, the National Stroke Foundation, Intensive Care Foundation and the Society of Critical Care Foundation.

To view the latest Research at Austin Physiotherapy (RAAP) newsletter click the links below.

A number of research projects are currently underway in our department in which members of our staff are involved in. To find out more please click on the name of the staff member.


Research Staff Include
Name  Key Research Interests
Dr Cathy Said

Mobility, gait, stroke, falls, older adults

A/Prof Sue Berney

Criticical care, clinical decision making, early rehabilitation,long term consequences of critical illness

Dr Jannette Blennerhassett Shoulder pain, grip control, upper limb function, community mobility, task related training, stroke
Dr Catherine Hill

COPD, pulmonary rehabilitation, interstitial lung disease, telerehabilitation

Caroline Chao

Respiratory, prolonged ventilation, airway clearance, weaning from ventilation

Wayne Dite

Balance, mobility, stroke, falls, older adults, exercise prescription

Jennifer Jones

Intensive care, critical illness, rehabilitation, intensive care unit acquired weakness

Zoe Langford

 Rehabilitation, stroke, balance, mobility, falls

Joleen Rose

Critical care physiotherapy, early rehabilitation, cognition

Jack Ross

Spinal cord injury Respiratory management, CPAP for OSA, tracheostomy

Kathryn Shaw

Rehabilitation, pain neuroscience, pain management, neuroplasticity

 National Health and Medical Research Council and Centre of Research Excellence grant success

funding for training


 It has been an exciting time for the Physiotherapy Research Department with our researchers and associate researchers having great success in securing competitive grants. We would like to congratulate:

Dr. Cathy Said who along with colleagues has recieved an NHMRC project grant for her study "Can real-time biofeedback of foot clearance data be used to assist with gair rehabilitation following stroke?''

Dr. Catherine Hill who is an AI on the project "Telerehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." 

Austin Health Research Week 2015 comes to a close     

Research Week higlighted the varied and exciting research taking place in the various departments at Austin Health, and the Physiotherapy Department was no exception.

This years Physiotherapy Research Symposium was presented by Professor Julie Bernhardt on :"Where to next for early stroke rehabilitation: The AVERT Trial".

Over the year the department have published 25 publications in peer reviewed journals.

Congratulations to Wayne Dite, Zoe Langford and Janette Blennerhassett for coming 1st in the Austin Consumer Engagement Award for their tremendous work in "Increasing the opportunity to exercise on a weekend during Inpatient Rehabilitation." With a Highly Commended mention to Kristy McRae and Mel Gregory for their quality activity "Wheelchair skills coaching using peers as Recourse for Rehabilitation."

We would also like to acknowledge our Physiotherapy Research Award winners. This award is given to members of the department who have proved themselves invaluable to the advancement of Austin physiotherapy research. The 2015 Physiotherapy Research Award winners are: The Move trial team at the Repatriation Hospital and the AVERT team at the Austin Hospital.

Below are the Physiotherapy research week  winners inclusive of The Move Trial team at the Repat, The AVERT team at Austin and the Austin Consumer Engagement  award winners.

Royal Talbot Aquatic Physiotherapy pool