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Research symposium highlights and prize winners

Jennie Scarvell, APAM
3 December 2016

Professor Robin Daly and Dr Jennie Gianoudis’ paper on ‘Osteo-cise: Strong Bones for Life’ (Daly and Gianoudis et al, 2012) was the first program, I believe, to actually increase bone density with an exercise program. This certainly challenges our notion that while you might slow the decline in bone density with exercise, you cannot increase it in over-40s. Osteo-cise challenges the exercise ‘boundaries’ in ageing for progressive resistance training, for balance and falls training.

Robin, who holds the position of Chair in Exercise and Ageing within the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University in Melbourne, was the keynote speaker at our symposium, and he presented very exciting and challenging ideas on falls, ageing and strength in older people.

Robin’s research has focused on the integration of exercise physiology and nutrition as a means to both prevent disease and improve health outcomes across the lifespan, particularly in older adults. He has designed and completed many clinical and translational intervention trials to prevent and manage common chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, sarcopenia, falls and type 2 diabetes.

In physiotherapy, our PhD and Master students are generally physiotherapists who have been considering their practice and have begun asking hard questions about the science or evidence underpinning our practice. So, it is always interesting to hear what they have to say. We welcomed two students from the first honours program of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy at UC: Abby Benton, APAM, spoke on how to discuss continence with teenage athletes, and Nicki Hribar, APAM, discussed gender differences in knee motion using 3D imaging.

The prizes for the day went to:
  • Best discussion generating paper: Ella Ward, APAM—‘Fat pads adjacent to tendinopathy: more than a coincidence?
  • Best student paper: Peter Beshara, APAM—‘Shoulder Prehabilitation Exercise and Education (SPrEE) program for patients awaiting rotator cuff surgery on function and quality of life: a randomised, controlled trial’
  • Best poster: Rebecca Cesnik—‘A 12-week supervised exercise program improves functional outcomes for patients diagnosed with cancer’
  • Best paper: Dr Diana Perriman, APAM—‘Why do some people have multiple dislocations after a total hip arthroplasty?’
The Pharmacology Handbook for Physiotherapists was launched by Elsevier. Authors Dr Jackie Reznik, APAM, and Jo Morris, APAM, as well as co-authors Bernie Bissett and Katie Vine, APAM, were proud to be seeing it in print for the first time. At a time when physiotherapy is working towards medications-prescribing privileges, this is an important book. Physiotherapists are in a position where knowledge of pharmacology and pharmacokinetics is alongside of our anatomy, physiology and other theoretical foundations. We need to know already how medications interact with our therapies and physiological responses in our patients. This is a very accessible handbook to provide that guidance.

Finally, this is my last symposium as convenor. I would like to pay tribute to the fantastic team of people who have made the last 10 years of my chairpersonship extraordinary. Careful and detailed organisation skills come from Jenny Robertson and Caroline Jones at the APA office, and the APA owes a lot to its volunteer members. On the symposium committee, my heartfelt thanks to Jason Whittingham, APAM; Dr Angie Fearon, APAM; Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist Toni Green, APAM; Diana Perriman; Dr Irmina Nahon, APAM; and Jeremy Witchalls, APAM, for many years of dedication to make the symposium happen. Our new partners Niru Mahendran, APAM; Roy Daniell, APA Musculoskeltal Physiotherapist; Jamie Gaida, and new chair, Liz Preston, APAM, are a very welcome crew. Thank you all for the work of the past many years.

Jennie Scarvell is a Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Canberra.



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