Health and reablement research

Our researchers investigate new approaches to enhancing health and recovery in people with chronic diseases, from childhood to the older adult.

Patient in the Health and Rehabilitation Clinic

We study the effect of novel interventions on function and recovery, and the impact of disease on health and physical activity, participation and quality of life. 

Our research aims to improve health and maximise recovery for people living with chronic health conditions. We have participants from all stages of life including children with neuromuscular developmental disorders, people with chronic metabolic or neurological conditions (e.g. diabetes, dystonia, stroke), pregnant women and older adults living with chronic conditions.

We also study the impacts of fatigue, sleep and mood on participation, and develop interventions to reduce sedentary lifestyles.

Our biomechanics research includes clinical gait and dynamic balance control in people of all ages living with neurological diseases. We optimise functional assessments in clinical populations using computerised analyses of human movement (biomechanical analysis).

Research topics

Physical activity and sedentary behaviour on health outcomes

Our research uses habitual activity monitoring to examine the effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on health outcomes in clinical populations. We monitor activity in patients to determine the effects of treatment on return to activity and life participation.

The project has a particular focus on people living with chronic diseases (diabetes, knee osteoarthritis) and those at different life stages, such as women during pregnancy.

Functional limitations and treatments for cervical dystonia

There are functional deficits in cervical dystonia (CD) outside of the impaired neck, such as increased postural sway, delayed stepping reactions, reduced walking speed, fear of falling and visual compensation.

We have a particular interest in how the deviated head posture and head tremor impacts function in CD and in designing novel treatment interventions with a holistic approach to rehabilitation.

Vibration therapy

Vibration therapy is increasingly becoming a popular method of increasing muscle and bone strength as well as muscle function in children.

Our research studies the effect of vibration therapy on muscle and bone health in children with musculoskeletal disorders.

Biomechanical simulation for children with cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a well-recognised neurodevelopmental condition resulting from brain injury. Beginning in early childhood, it is a life-long condition.

Ankle and foot equines, one of the most common deformities among patients with CP, receive a lot of attention from therapists and surgeons. Our project aims to create patient-specific musculoskeletal models and conduct clinical gait analysis to assist in surgical outcome predictions. 

Intelligent system development for automated motor impairment assessment.

Clinical assessment is important in quantifying the severity of motor impairment and for supporting timely and appropriate clinical interventions.

With a portable motion capture sensor, a biomechanical model and machining learning algorithms, this project aims to develop an intelligent system for assessing motor impairment.

Related research centres

Our researchers

Associate Professor Lynley Bradnam

  • Neurorehabilitation

Dr Rebecca Meiring

  • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour

Dr Silmara Gusso

  • Exercise and health in paediatric populations

Dr Yanxin Zhang

  • Biomechanics