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

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  • 23 Nov 2020 7:47 AM | Cecilia Clavijo (Administrator)

    COVID-19 has impacted our lives for much of this year and will continue to be present heading into 2021. It has no doubt impacted both your personal and professional spaces. We are fortunate in New Zealand to have had low infection numbers.

    As a result we are seeing few instance of people needing rehabilitation after Covid. However, if you are faced with a client who is experience secondary impairments after Covid, what should you do?

    Cochrane Rehabilitation have been working hard to identify all the evidence produced about COVID-19 and rehabilitation. This action is highly essential for clinicians located all over the world. This collection of evidence is reliable and updated each month, so clinicians can access the latest evidence being produced.

    The Rehabilitation COVID-19 Evidence-based Response (REH_COVER) action plan includes:

    1.  an evidence-based living mapping of all the current evidence
    2.  a living rapid systematic review of all the current evidence updated every month
    3. a list of research priorities produced in collaboration with the WHO rehabilitation programme
    4. a Special Collection of Cochrane Systematic Reviews in the Cochrane Library
    5. a series of rapid reviews on evidence about expected rehabilitation needs due to COVID-19 (in production). The REH-COVER action is led by an international multi-professional Steering Committee (13 members, seven professions, four continents, including LMIC).

    Should Covid become more of a problem in New Zealand, it is reassuring that we will have access to the REH-COVER action plan, and if needed we can use this resource to keep up-to-date with the latest additions to the collection.

    Authored: Shar Davis

  • 18 Nov 2020 9:19 AM | Cecilia Clavijo (Administrator)

    NZRA President William Levack gave an insight into the depth and breadth of his academic career when he presented his Inaugural Professorial Lecture in Wellington recently.

    Speaking on the topic of “Meaningful Research—Meaningful Lives” William took the audience on a journey though touchpoints in his career that helped to shape the lens through which he now operates.

    William’s research focusses on patient experiences of rehabilitation, goal setting processes, and interventions to increase patient engagement in rehabilitation activities.

    Using four stories as anchor points for his presentation, William highlighted distinct areas of his career that, while separate, were connected through the importance of research being meaningful (not just for the sake of it) and how it could positively impact lives. The key areas were rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury, goal setting in rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic lung disease and Cochrane rehabilitation—development of methods for knowledge translation and evidence production.

    One thing that stood out during the presentation was how he has consistently asked questions throughout his life, and that leads him to find answers to these questions (and any subsequent questions that arise in the process).

    Professor Paul Brunton Pro-vice Chancellor of Health Sciences said, “To become a professor at the Uni of Otago is incredibly difficult. We have very high academic standards.”

    A promotion to Professor is “an endorsement of people’s academic activity, both in teaching research but also in academic service, both to the university and the wider community,” said Brunton.

    These words, a testament to the high degree of respect that William has within the Academic community.

    William began the night with a humorous account of his early interest in research though his study of earthworms and slaters, he credits his mother as the one who introduced him to experimental design, statistical test and the importance of a good control group.

    According to his research findings, “slaters like cuddling rather than being by themselves,” shared William. While perhaps an unexpected topic for an Inaugural Professorial Lecture, it highlighted his extended and extensive love of research and his ability to connect with his audience in a personable, down-to-earth, and grounded-in-research fashion.

    Congratulations Professor William Levack!

    You can check out his full presentation here

  • 06 Nov 2020 1:51 PM | Anonymous
    • NURS433/PSME439 Intellectual Disability: Theory into Practice

      The aim of this Interprofessional paper is to develop your knowledge base, practical and clinical skills as a practitioner working in this specialist field, and in working alongside people with intellectual (learning) disability. The content is underpinned by evidenced-based practice and current philosophy grounded on changing models of disability. Links are made between physical and mental well-being, sociological, pharmacological, behavioural, interprofessional and ethical approaches across the lifespan. 

      You could be eligible to undertake this Level 8 paper if you hold a professional health/education qualification and/or undergraduate degree and are a professional working in the health and/or disability sector.

      Nurses must hold registration from a three-year programme or course, congruent with the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act (2003). The paper is able to be included in the suite of papers for a number of PGDiplomas and it can also be taken as a standalone paper – COP, Certificate of Proficiency and brought into a PG qualification at a later date.

    • For enquiries about this paper contact: Henrietta Trip, (03) 364 3857

  • 25 Sep 2020 4:25 PM | Anonymous

    Would you like to share your thoughts on interprofessional team communication in inpatient rehabilitation?

    Julia Paxino is PhD student in Melbourne. She is keen to talk to clinicians in NZ and Australia from a whole range of professions and clinical contexts (i.e. not linked to specific patient/diagnostic groups) about this topic. If you’re interested in taking part, please feel free to contact Julia directly. Her details are on the attached invitation...

    Interprofessional communication study recruitment information.pdf

  • 21 Jul 2020 3:27 PM | Cecilia Clavijo (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

  • 15 Jul 2020 11:10 AM | Cecilia Clavijo (Administrator)

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

  • 30 Jun 2020 10:44 AM | Cecilia Clavijo (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 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 for more information or to indicate your interest.

  • 23 Jun 2020 2:09 PM | Cecilia Clavijo (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:

  • 04 Jun 2020 12:36 PM | Cecilia Clavijo (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

    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. 

    Course Fees:

    • Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,857.50
    • International Tuition Fees (NZD) $10,363.00
  • 02 Jun 2020 1:23 PM | Cecilia Clavijo (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).

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