Caroline Nicolson

2007 grant recipient

Caroline Nicolson graduated from the Lincoln Institute Melbourne in 1976. Over the next 7 years she worked at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Geelong Hospital and then Westminster Hospital in London, returning to Melbourne in 1983 to teach cardiorespiratory physiotherapy at Lincoln Institute and to start a family. After several years at Monash Medical Centre and then Knox Private Hospital she moved to Epworth Hospital in 2000 to set up the first private pulmonary rehabilitation program in Australia.

Caroline undertook a Masters of Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne in 2005 and became a titled APA member (cardiorespiratory) in 2006 when she moved to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. She has received numerous grants including the Nicole Turner Memorial Grant 2007, Alfred Hospital Grant 2007 and the PRF Grant in 2007. She was awarded the Pat Cosh Trust Grant in 2014 to develop a comprehensive interactive educational website for the management of bronchiectasis.


Research areas and findings

Caroline’s PRF grant assisted with her research project, ‘The long term effect of inhaled hypertonic saline (6%) in non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.’ This project has helped to clarify the use of isotonic and hypertonic saline as an airways clearance strategy for non-CF bronchiectasis. Caroline’s research was published in Respiratory Medicine in 2012.


Research impact on physiotherapy

Currently Caroline is a senior clinician at the Alfred Hospital, working in the AIRMed Department in the bronchiectasis outpatient clinic. She is working on a number of significant projects including the prevalence of sinusitis in non-CF bronchiectasis, a comprehensive bronchiectasis educational website and the clinical outcomes of a multidisciplinary bronchiectasis outpatient clinic.

Important areas for development in physiotherapy

Caroline has been on the APA Indigenous Health Committee since 2014. One of her personal professional goals is to disseminate her clinical and practical physiotherapy knowledge to the indigenous population and remote areas of Australia. She is working towards this goal with the development of the bronchiectasis website.