Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference

Mid-October saw a number of our team attend and present at the biennial Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.  About 2,000 physiotherapists from as far afield as Europe and Africa came together at the conference to hear and discuss the latest in physiotherapy research.

Our practice was one of the most prolific private-sector contributors to the scientific program. Our senior associate at Westmead Private Physiotherapy Services, Dr Andrew Hirschhorn, was invited to present at the preconference cardiorespiratory group workshop ‘Getting your sick patients fit!’, on the topic of ‘Exercise in cardiac conditions’. Andrew also presented his recent NHMRC TRIP Fellowship work, concerning improving uptake of pelvic floor muscle training for men having prostate surgery in the Continence & Gender Health component of the program. Both presentations were well received, and Andrew had many enquiries about his work from physiotherapists around Australia.

John Breckenridge presented some of his early PhD research on the left/right judgement task in people with/without shoulder pain. This research has important implications for the development of new treatment strategies for people with such conditions as adhesive capsulitis, or ‘frozen shoulder’ as it is commonly known. John was also very proud to present some research work undertaken together with one of our international students from the University of Kentucky, Ms Nicole Acosta. This work looked at the use of digital photography to measure shoulder movement, a practice that is increasingly being used by physiotherapists.

Sean Mungovan presented some ground-breaking research on the amount of physical activity undertaken by patients in the first week after heart surgery. This research, conducted at Westmead Private Hospital, showed that patients who did more exercise with their physiotherapists got ‘fitter’ more quickly, and probably went home from hospital earlier, too. Finally, one of our associates at Central West Orthopaedic & Sports Physiotherapy (Blacktown), Lee Corey, presented an e-poster on injury patterns in A-League and W-League (soccer) match officials. Apart from her physiotherapy work, Lee is a W-League assistant referee, so this topic is of keen interest.

All-in-all, it was a great week in Melbourne. We have come back to our practices invigorated, and bursting with fresh ideas as to how to continue to improve the health of our patients. If you would like to know more about our research activities, please click on the link to ‘research’, or contact Andrew Hirschhorn at