Award for University research on Mid North Coast health program

24 JUNE 2021

Award for University research on Mid North Coast health program

Allied health researchers and students at Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie are celebrating after a study they conducted on a Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) program recently won an award.

  • A study conducted by Charles Sturt University allied health researchers and students has won an award from Mid North Coast Local Health District

Allied health researchers and students at Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie are celebrating after a study they conducted on a Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) program recently won an award.

The researchers collaborated with the MNCLHD to conduct research on the effectiveness of its ‘GET MOVING’ program, which aims to combat hospital-acquired ‘deconditioning’.

The joint research project was awarded one of the MNCLHD’s 2021 Innovation Awards, which recognises the outstanding efforts and achievements of individuals and teams who drive and support health research opportunities.

The award was presented to the researcher team by the Deputy Chair of the MNCLHD Governing Board Mr Neville Parsons.

The study included a multi-method study led by Strategic Professor and Conjoint Chair, Allied Health and Community Wellbeing in the School of Allied Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences, Gail Whiteford, with allied health students from the Port Macquarie campus assisting with the collection of observational data.

Professor Whiteford said the award recognises an outstanding collaboration between the University and MNCLHD to improve health outcomes in the region.

“The GET MOVING program is an exceptional program and the research Charles Sturt University has conducted proves just how effective it is,” she said.

“This award is a win for both organisations and of course, our students, whom we could not have conducted this research without.

“They were amazing – they were at the hospital every day over the project’s two-month long data collection period. Watching and interacting with the patients and monitoring their movements.”

Ms Elise Jenkins and 'GET MOVING' patient Mr Glenn Purcell.The GET MOVING program was developed by Charles Sturt alumna and Port Macquarie Base Hospital physiotherapist Ms Elise Jenkins (pictured left in image) and includes education, environmental cues and staff training.

It is aimed at reducing hospital-acquired physical ‘deconditioning’, which starts about 48 hours after prolonged bed rest and can have serious consequences.

The results from the initial program are very positive:

  • Bed rest was reduced by 93 per cent
  • Sitting was increased by 32 per cent
  • Walking increased by 62 per cent
  • Falls reduced by 83 per cent
  • Functional independence scores increased by 78 per cent
  • Readmission rates fell by 82 per cent

Ms Jenkins said the study’s focus was to prove the effectiveness of the program.

“We understand the power of movement and wanted to introduce that as a whole ward, all-staff approach – and we have seen it work,” she said.

The GET MOVING program will continue to be delivered at Wauchope District Memorial Hospital and training videos on safe mobilisation have been produced for use by MNCLHD staff and the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC).

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Professor Gail Whiteford, contact Rebecca Akers at Charles Sturt Media on 0456 377 434 or news@csu.edu.au

Image note: Main image (left to right): Professor Gail Whiteford, Ms Elise Jenkins and Mr Neville Parsons.

Second image: Ms Elise Jenkins and 'GET MOVING' patient Mr Glenn Purcell.

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