PROFILING NZ REHABILITATION RESEARCH

We are keen to regularly profile rehabilitation-related research conducted within NZ.  Please contact us if you would like us to profile a published paper, poster or conference presentation blogs@rehabilitation.org.nz


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  • 21 Jul 2020 3:27 PM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)

    NZRA is looking for a financially minded person with good communication and interpersonal skills to join our national executive as treasurer.

    The NZRA executive is a dynamic group of rehabilitation enthusiasts working together to provide leadership and to advocate for excellence in rehabilitation in NZ.  The executive meets on a monthly basis and the treasurer’s role would be to provide financial oversight and report to the committee at meetings, taking the lead in financial matters.

    The role is voluntary and the usual term is two years up to a maximum of four years.  If you are interested get in touch with Debbie Snell deborah.snell@cdhb.health.nz.

  • 15 Jul 2020 11:10 AM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)

    Developed by Martin Chadwick – MoH Chief Allied Health Professions Officer - with input from Allied Health Aotearoa


  • 30 Jun 2020 10:44 AM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)

    The NZRA is currently seeking keen beans to join us as we work to ....

    ...raise the awareness and voice of rehabilitation in New Zealand, creating opportunities that connect organisations and advocating for excellence in rehabilitation to achieve best outcomes.

    We are looking for people to contribute in a number of ways.

    We are seeking greater diversity in both the NZRA Executive and the NZRA Conference Planning Committee. We particularly welcome people who are Māori, who have the lived experience of disability, clinicians, organisational and/or provider representatives. That said, we would love to hear from anyone who is interested in joining us as we would value the time, skills and enthusiasm of all.

    1. Join the NZRA Executive team.

    Keen to help us explore ways to promote rehabilitation in NZ? We need a few more people to help out. It's a great way to network and keep up with what's happening. 

    We are also particularly interested in hearing from people who could help us in a treasurer role. Do you know someone who would be willing to do this work pro bono - e.g. an accountant looking for some NGO organisational experience?

    Get in touch with William Levack (NZRA President) via william.levack@otago.ac.nz for more information or to indicate your interest. 

    2. Join the 2021 Conference Organising Committee

    Would you like to assist dream, scheme and pull-together an innovative NZ Rehabilitation Conference? The plans are underway and we exploring options for September 2021. We are keen to make this a really interactive, practice-based event with a particular focus on improving equity of access and outcomes in the NZ context. Do you think you would like to join the team and contribute? Get in touch with Rachelle Martin (Conference Convener) via rachelle.martin@otago.ac.nz for more information or to indicate your interest.

  • 23 Jun 2020 2:09 PM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)

    Contributed by Agnetha Korevaar, Callaghan Innovation.

    I was one of those kids who was always playing with Lego, adventuring on the farm or helping Dad fix broken equipment; curious to know how things work, eager to explore, and keen to make new and improved inventions. So when I heard about mechatronics engineering (mechanical engineering + electronics + software smarts = robots), I thought it seemed like the perfect way to use science to create things which are helpful in day to day life.

    It was in the final year of university that I got my first taste of rehab tech. Alongside standard engineering courses, I had the opportunity to learn about human physiology and how diseases such as stroke can affect it. For the final year project, our student team came up with a device to help people who have had a stroke with arm rehabilitation exercises. Guided by an expert mentor, we developed the idea for an affordable device for in-home use, so that people would have more opportunities to do their rehabilitation exercises and (hopefully!) be able to regain more of the function they’d lost.

    Fast-forward a few years and I was working to develop new technologies at a Christchurch company who design the electronics on powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters (Dynamic Controls). While there I gained valuable technical skills from fellow engineers, user experience designers, and product managers. I was also encouraged to think outside the box and develop new technology that could improve the quality of life for people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters. We had the opportunity to spend time using these mobility aids, and feel firsthand some of the frustrations. Another key way we got user insights was interviewing people who are dependent on these devices every day and hearing of their joys and difficulties. Putting these experiences together, we could figure out where crazy ideas and new technology could help the most.

    Now I’m a research engineer at Callaghan Innovation, helping innovative businesses across New Zealand to turn their ideas into real-life prototypes. I’ve joined the MedTech CoRE - a network of researchers from both clinical and engineering backgrounds, who are developing new medical technologies. The theme of stroke rehab has continued, and I’ve been helping to develop a new version of the arm rehabilitation device. Over the past year, I’ve been working together with speech and language therapists and people who use speech generating devices (SGDs), to figure out how we can give Māori SGD users a te reo voice and the ability to express themselves using their first language. These are the kinds of projects that excite me - opportunities where tech could make a very real difference for those living with disability.

    So what’s next? I’d love more opportunities to chat with clinicians and people with lived experience of injury or disability, to hear about areas where technology could make a huge difference, and then, to turn those ideas into reality.

    Agnetha can be contacted via: Agnetha.Korevaar@callaghaninnovation.govt.nz

  • 04 Jun 2020 12:36 PM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)

    This 30-point distance-taught paper is intended for those working with or interested in supporting children and their families in their management of child-related health and disability issues. Core content includes interprofessional frameworks for health and disability, family-centred practices, lifespan trajectories and models of service delivery. Interprofessional and evidence-based practices are emphasized while all assignments are individual and applied to student-led areas of enquiry.  The course is ideal for health professionals, consumers, advocates, managers and policy makers from health, education or community settings. Teaching methods are remote but highly interactive. Skills developed include finding relevant research evidence quickly; evidence-informed project management; advanced written and oral communication to diverse audiences; networking with current and future sector leaders.

    Tutor: Dr Fiona (Fi) Graham

    https://www.otago.ac.nz/wellington/departments/medicine/postgraduate/rehabilitation/staff/otago019968.html

    Fi is an occupational therapist committed to improving opportunities for participation for children and families. She has worked clinically in health and education settings with children specialising in neurodisability and its life-impacts. Her research centres on effective ways of working with caregivers of children with disabilities to create more enabling contexts for children.

    Course commences week of July 6th.  Enrol by June 25 to avoid late enrolment.

    https://www.otago.ac.nz/study/enrolment/index.html 

    Course Fees:

    • Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,857.50
    • International Tuition Fees (NZD) $10,363.00
  • 02 Jun 2020 1:23 PM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)

    These presentations preceded the NZRA AGM, Thursday 14th May 2020.

    1. Lessons from lockdown – Dr Suzie Mudge

    Suzie is a Physiotherapist and Director of Neuro Rehab Results, a private neurorehabilitation clinic in Auckland. Like other rehab providers, Neuro Rehab Results has had to make a quick shift to telerehabilitation.

    2. Building telehealth capability for community based allied health – Jonathan Armstrong

    Jonathan is Clinical Director for Allied Health in the Community Health Services at Counties Manukau Health. Since Level 4 restrictions, Jonathan has been working with the Allied Health team to build their capability for delivering intervention via telehealth. This has included: Ensuring the availability of equipment and technology, establishing guidelines, trialling a variety of tools, developing training, and utilising outcome measures to collect patient feedback.

    3. The use of telehealth for wheelchair and seating solutions – Rachel Brown

    Rachel is an Occupational Therapist. She has been working for Enable New Zealand as an Equipment and Modification Services (EMS) Advisor since 2010. Her role involves coordinating outreach clinics for wheelchair, seating and lying supports in the lower South Island as well as completing requests for advice.

    4. Zooming in to improve lung health and general wellbeing – Anne Fitzpatrick

    Anne Fitzpatrick works part time as a researcher in the Department of Medicine at University of Otago’s Wellington campus and is a Board member of Polio NZ. Anne had polio as a child which left her with paralysis in her right leg and a foot drop. In recent years she has experienced a significant deterioration in her ability to walk, and onset of COPD. She has always actively managed her health to optimise her functionality and live life as fully as possible. She is an active member of a weekly exercise group and SYLO choir for people with chronic lung conditions (SYLO= Sing Your Lungs Out).

  • 28 May 2020 12:38 PM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)


    Ko Aoraki te maunga

    Ko Wataki te awa

    Ko Kāi Tahu te iwi

    Ko Hakiri Price tōku tipuna,

    Ko Moeraki me Ngāi Tūāhuriri te hapu

    Ko Cate Grace tōku ingoa.

    Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa


    Since I was young, my whānau on both sides has worked in our community to support others to find and share their own voice. It came as no surprise to my parents that in my teenage years I became interested about other viewpoints and making connections with diverse groups. My own journey with acquired disability in my 20’s broadened my world view even more and exploring unexpected pathways and new opportunities became my new normal.

    So, six months ago when I sat down over tea with Dr Jo Nunnerley and discussed an opportunity to continue Dr Johnny Bourke’s vision at Burwood Academy of Independent Living (BAIL), it was an easy decision!

    Dr Bourke established a person with lived experience (PLEx) group around New Zealand and Australia. The group known as the Burwood Academy Consultation (BAC) Network, was set up to review research projects, particularly around disability and all that world encompasses.

    My role as BAIL’s PLEx Engagement Lead has a focus on creating meaningful connections and ensuring those who have a disability or lived experience contribute and participate at all phases of research. This is a fabulous diverse and active group. My role is to facilitate and match the group to the various work we are asked to take part in. Over the six months since I began, the group has been involved with co-designing research proposals, evaluating scoping documents, being research participants, matching advisors to research projects, co-designing and delivery of education course material and creating pathways for students to undertake further study at a Masters and PhD level.

    The lens of disability has changed dramatically over the last decade. I am proud to work for such a forward thinking organisation that works to ensure that not only does research reflect societal changes, but that those with lived experience have a voice and acknowledged contribution. It is exciting to be involved in societal and social change as BAIL collectively introduces new ways of thinking across not only the disability sector but also the wider wellbeing and health sectors. My role allows diverse groups to contribute to the conversations that BAIL are already having in the research and health sectors.

    Recently I was appointed to act as an Advisory Committee Chair with the PEC - PLEx Engagement Committee. The committee meets regularly to give advice and support, and direction to other organisations. As a facilitator, this group is an important part of re-framing disability, as it ensures there is a collective and diverse voice representing those with lived experience. Our voice can contribute to the strategy of organisations who are forward thinking about connecting research that is produced within the sector.

    Taking on this role at BAIL, and all it includes, means I can combine many of my passions with a team and with different organisation’s who share similar values, experiences and goals. I believe it is important to remember that this research comes from a person and their everyday life; sometimes their story needs to be told outside of percentages and figures. We produce research that matters, and we do it because we care.

    Where to from here? I look forward to building our BAC Network and PEC and continuing to support BAIL to have a positive impact to those with lived experience of disability. So, if you have lived experience of disability or know someone who does and is interested in contributing to meaningful research please drop me a line cate.grace@burwood.org.nz. I would love to connect with you!

  • 27 May 2020 12:48 PM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)

    The comprehensive resource Telehealth (Digital Practice) Handbook – a practical guide for physiotherapy has been provided to NZRA by Miranda Buhler.  Contents include:

    • Professional practice guidelines and ACC contracts
    • Telephone triage
    • Video Consult
    • Practice points
    • Tips for an effective consult
    • Working from home
    • Professional resources
    • APA Telehealth Webinar Q & A
    • Digital supplementary resources


  • 05 May 2020 12:03 PM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)

    The British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine have just published a working document outlining what specialist rehabilitation services could and should look in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Taken from the Executive Summary:

    Rehabilitation forms a critical component of the acute care pathway, helping to relieve pressure on the acute and frontline services. It is shown to be both effective and cost-effective, whether through improving independence and societal reintegration; or managing the impacts of long-term disability including neuro-palliative care.

    An as yet unquantifiable additional case-load of patients with post-Covid disability presenting with a wide range of problems due to cardio-pulmonary, musculoskeletal, neurological and psychological/psychiatric complications of the disease, compounded in many cases by de- conditioning from prolonged stays in ITU. As NHS services re-boot in the wake of the pandemic, there is an important opportunity to work collaboratively to rebuild services on a better, more co-operative model – a phoenix from the ashes. This document sets out the BSRM’s recommendations for rehabilitation services for adults aged 16 years and over in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic - in particular, the role of specialist rehabilitation to support patients with more complex rehabilitation needs.

  • 20 Apr 2020 10:22 AM | Kathy Duncan (Administrator)

    Rachel Brown (Enable) has kindly shared this resource with the rehabilitation community. Please feel free to forward it on to anyone you think would find it useful.

    Thanks Rachel!

    A Guide to Using Telehealth - Enable New Zealand 2020.pdf


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