Announcement of Successful 2013 Seeding Grant Applications

PRF seeding grants are for new researchers working on new or established clinical research projects. The purpose of PRF seeding grants is to help new researchers begin a research career.

All applications are subjected to a thorough assessment process by the PRF Grants Review Committee to ensure that PRF seeding grants are awarded to the most worthy studies each year. The Directors of the PRF Corporate Trustee are now pleased to announce that the following APA members have been awarded seeding grants for the 2013 funding round.

Assessing the sensation of 'desire to void': development of a new instrument.

Rebekah Das (SA)

The complaint of urinary urgency, commonly encountered by continence physiotherapists, is recognized as one of the most bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms. However, the nature of the sensation of urgency is poorly understood, hampering innovation in assessment and treatment. Traditionally urgency has been assessed by proxy such as assessment of emotional or behavioural responses to sensation. There is no instrument available which assesses the perceptual experience of urgency. The researchers have recently demonstrated that urgency is a multidimensional sensation, and the aim of this research is to develop an instrument to assess the multiple dimensions of this symptom.

The development process will involve three phases, each conducted with independent samples:

  1. Descriptive development of the first draft of the instrument
  2. An observational study employing factor analysis to determine instrument structure and scoring
  3. An observational repeated measures study to establish test-retest reliability and discriminatory validity.

In other fields of medicine (e.g. pain and dyspnea) an improved knowledge of the multidimensional nature of adverse sensations has advanced understanding of underlying mechanisms and development of novel diagnostic and treatment options. Similar benefits may arise from improved understanding of the perceptual experience of urgency, which this new instrument will allow.

Amount awarded: $10,000

Early-onset knee osteoarthritis following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: the impact on health-related quality of life, work participation and health costs

Stephanie Filbay (QLD)

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and a major public health problem in Australia and internationally. Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) occurs most frequently in a young active population, and is associated with the early-onset of OA. Studies have demonstrated that older adults with knee OA experience poor Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL), functional limitations and participation restrictions. However, little is known about the experience of younger adults with early-onset OA, who may face unique pressures including work responsibilities, parenting roles and social commitments.

This project aims to explore the HRQoL of people aged 18 to 55 years with early-onset knee OA, who have undergone ACLR. In addition, it will explore change in HRQoL over two years, and evaluate work limitations, health service utilisation and associated financial burden. The information generated will aid in the development of management strategies, and provide clinicians with a greater understanding of the impact of knee OA in a younger population following ACLR. Additionally, by evaluating HRQoL, work capacity and cost utilisation, this study will enable policy and decision makers to make informed decisions regarding funding and health-care planning in the future.

Amount awarded: $9,049

A randomised, cross-over trial of the effect of positive expiratory pressure during nebulised delivery of medication on aerosol deposition in people with cystic fibrosis

Olivia Rawson (NSW)

Research question

Does the addition of positive expiratory pressure (PEP) to a nebuliser improve deposition of the aerosol in people with cystic fibrosis (CF)?


Adults with CF will inhale a 4mL radioaerosol on two occasions in random order:

  • via a Pari LC Star nebuliser, standard for aerosol delivery in CF
  • via a Pari LC Star nebuliser with a PEP attachment

After each nebulisation, gamma scintigraphy will determine the total dose of radioaerosol received and its deposition pattern.


In adults with CF, inhaled medication deposits non-uniformly, with upper lobes and peripheral airways receiving little medication. PEP can be applied during medication delivery via a nebuliser attachment. PEP during nebulisation may make the deposition pattern more uniform. Furthermore, PEP increases secretion clearance, saving patients time by achieving drug delivery and airway clearance simultaneously. This could improve compliance to these chronic time-consuming therapies. Many physiotherapists therefore recommend PEP during nebulisation and currently many patients follow this advice. However, preliminary evidence suggests that the advantages of this strategy may be at the expense of the total dose of medication received. This study will provide sufficient data to guide the prescription of PEP during nebulisation by physiotherapists.

Amount awarded: $10,000

Sedentary behaviour in people with cardiovascular disease: a pilot randomised controlled trial

Lucy Lewis (SA)

Research question

How much time do people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) spend in sedentary behaviours and what is the impact of an intervention aimed at decreasing sedentary behaviours during a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program?


Design: Pilot randomised controlled trial.

Participants: Fifty-four retired adults (≥60 years) with CVD will be recruited prior to a 6-week CR program.

Intervention: Face-to-face goal setting session and individually tailored participant feedback on accelerometer derived sedentary time.

Control: Usual CR.

Outcome measures: Participants will be measured at baseline (first week CR), and six weeks (end of program). The primary outcomes are accelerometer-derived total sedentary time and the time spent in prolonged bouts of sitting. The type of sedentary behaviours will be assessed by a 24-hour recall instrument administered by computer-assisted telephone interview.


To date, CR has focussed on exercise and risk factor education. Time spent in sedentary behaviours has been linked to CVD risk, but there are no trials investigating the time people with CVD spend in sedentary behaviours, and whether this can be reduced. The results could help inform practice for physiotherapists working with people with CVD and inform methodologies, protocols and sample sizes for a definitive trial.

Amount awarded: $9,720

Evaluating a physiotherapist-led training program to improve residents' mobility care in nursing homes

Janice Taylor (VIC)

Research Question

Is a physiotherapist-led training intervention, designed to improve staff’s mobility care and ambulatory residents’ mobility and quality of life, feasible?


This study is designed to explore the feasibility of a physiotherapist-led intervention aiming to improve mobility care in nursing homes (aged care facilities for high care residents). The intervention includes staff training in person-centred mobility care and a focus on organisational culture change informed by a relationship-centred framework. Kirkpatrick’s hierarchy of educational outcomes will guide measurement of training outcomes. The feasibility of the intervention will be determined through process evaluation involving a range of quantitative and qualitative measures.


Evidence points to staff assistance during mobility care imposing dependence on residents, resulting in physical deconditioning, skin breakdown and reduced opportunities for choice and autonomy. Mobility care within nursing homes therefore needs to consider residents’ independence and autonomy during mobility care as well as resident and staff safety. Physiotherapists, who provide directions for resident mobility care in nursing homes, are well positioned to lead an intervention such as the one presented in this application. Previous studies incorporating staff safety and person-centred resident mobility care have not been found.

Amount awarded: $9,936