‘Paving the path to recovery: Improving mental health and physical outcomes for intensive care survivors’
University of Melbourne VIC
Co-funded by Sharon Green and Marcel Skjald
” I have observed the challenges experienced by survivors. Frequently, patients would be referred to physiotherapy after leaving hospital with the goal of enhancing their strength, mobility, and activities. ”
I was raised on a farm near the town of Albury on the Murry River. I completed high school at The Scots School Albury before moving to Melbourne to commence my tertiary studies. I commenced the Bachelor of Science at The University of Melbourne in 2014 and had the privilege of residing at Trinity College. I then continued further studies within the university and graduated from the Doctor of Physiotherapy in 2019.
During my career as a physiotherapist, I have worked across the full spectrum of the patient journey. I have held a variety of clinical positions including working at Albury Wodonga Health and further regionally at Echuca Regional Health, as well as private physiotherapy roles in metropolitan Melbourne. I continue to engage in clinical work at Epworth Healthcare.
One in 10 Australians will be admitted to intensive care in their lifetime. More than 90% of these people will survive, however they are often left with new psychological and physical challenges. This includes post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and poor physical mobility thus impacting survivors’ return to work, social involvement, and overall quality of life. The number of survivors continues to grow, prompting a need for further research in this field. This PhD seeks to further shed light on these challenges to inform the creation of a targeted intervention to improve this vulnerable group’s outcomes.
This PhD will seek to 1): understand the long-term impact of critical illness on recovery for Australian intensive care survivors; 2) review the existing research into previously trialled post intensive care rehabilitation programs; 3) test a novel community-based telehealth rehabilitation program. The overall goal of this research is to improve the survivorship journey and the mental and physical outcomes for many intensive care survivors.
Supervisors: Dr Selina Parry, A/Prof Catherine Granger, Dr Marlena Klaic and Dr Camille Short.