Staff profile

Dr Bernice Ann Mathisen

Associate Professor

College of Science, Health and Engineering
La Trobe Rural Health School
Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health



PhD, MSc (Human Communication), B Sp Thy

Membership of professional associations

Speech Pathology Association of Australia (SPAA) International Affiliate of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT), Invited memb

Area of study

Speech Pathology

Brief profile

Bernice is Head of Speech Pathology at the newly-formed La Trobe Rural Health School (LRHS). Based in Bendigo, LRHS has other campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura. Bernice is responsible for leading the growth of the discipline of speech pathology across the regional campuses which will address the chronic shortage of speech pathologists working in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia and in developing communities world-wide. Bernice is also leading the  development of an innovative clinical education program as part of the speech pathology program at Bendigo in partnership with local speech pathologists and in particular, Bendigo Health. As part of this collaboration, research opportunities with local clinicians will also be targetted, in addition to the fostering of research higher degree students amongst the first graduates of the B Health Sciences/M Sp Path program at Bendigo.  

Research interests

Rural and Regional Health

- e-health

Speech Pathology

- Adult and paediatric swallowing disorders

Teaching units

HLTIPB Interprofessional Practice B

HLT2IEP Integrating Evidence into Practice

HCS2NCP Normal Communication & Swallowing

HCS2ACW Analysing and Combining Words

HCS3AOC Analysis of Communication


Dysphagia (swallowing disorders)

Recent publications

Chapters in books

Mathisen, B. A. (2008). Working with families of children with dysphagia: An interdisciplinary approach. (pp.245-278). In N. Watts Pappas & S. McLeod (Eds.) Working with Families in Speech-Language Pathology. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing.

Adams, V., Callister, R., Mathisen, B., Lazarus, C. & Baines, S. (submitted 2014). Reliability of measurements of strength and endurance using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument in old adults. Disability and Rehabilitation. Adams, V., Mathisen, B., Baines, S., Lazarus, C. & Callister, R. (2014). Reliability of measurements of tongue and hand strength and endurance using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument with healthy adults. Dysphagia, 29, 1, 83-95.

De Bortoli, T., Arthur-Kelly, M., Mathisen, B. & Balandin, S. (2014, early online1-16). Speech-Language Pathologists’ Perceptions of Implementing Intervention with Students with Multiple & Severe Disabilities. Alternative & Augmentative Communication (AAC).

Adams, V., Mathisen, B., Baines, S., Lazarus, C. & Callister, R. (in review, 2014). Effects of age and gender on the reliability of measurements of tongue and handgrip strength using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI). International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Mathisen, B., Carey, L., Carey-Sargeant, C., Webb, G., Millar, C-J. (submitted, November 18 2013). Speech-Language Therapy, Religion and Spirituality: Ensuring Patient-Centred Holistic Practice. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders.

Adams, V., Mathisen, B., Baines, S., Lazarus, C. & Callister, R. (2013). A systematic review and meta-analysis of measurements of tongue and hand strength and endurance using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI). Dysphagia, 28, 3, 350-369.DOI 10.1007/s00455-013-9451-3.

De Bortoli, T., Arthur-Kelly, M & Mathisen, B. (submitted 2013). Barriers to engagement with speech pathology services for children with profound disabilities in rural and remote areas of New South Wales, Australia. Australian Journal of Rural Health.

Carey-Sargeant, C., Dettman, S., Mathisen, B. & Brown, M. (2013, April). A comparison of visual-gaze patterns during story-book reading comprehension tasks for school-aged children using cochlear implants from different early educational programs. Poster presented at the Australian Hearing Hub Inaugural Conference, Macquarie University, Sydney.

Vickers, K, Togher L, Mathisen, B, Power, E   (2013). Does increased swallowing rehabilitation practice improve outcomes: a report of dosage and outcomes in a metropolitan stroke unit? Poster presented at the 3rd European Society for Swallowing Disorders, Malmo, Sweden, September 13-14.

Mathisen, B., Carey, L. & O’Brien, A. (2012). Incorporating Speech-Language Pathology within Australian Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 48, 823-827.

De Bortoli, T., Foreman, P., Arthur-Kelly, M., Balandin, S. & Mathisen, B. (2012). Contextual factors influencing the reported implementation of best practice by speech-language pathologists working with students with multiple and severe disabilities. Alternative & Augmentative Communication.

DeBortoli, T., Foreman, P., Arthur-Kelly, M., Balandin, S. & Mathisen, B. (2012). Mainstream teachers’ experiences of communicating with students with multiple and severe disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 47(2), 236-252.

Mathisen, B., Yates, P & Crofts, P. (2011). A Palliative Care Curriculum for Speech Language Pathology Students. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 46, 3: 273-285.

Research projects

Tongue strengthening exercise in people with stroke and head and neck cancer

Doseage and frequency of rehabilitative dysphagia therapy in stroke

Communicating with students with multiple and severe disabilities

Evaluation and feasibility of SNUG Victoria

Outcomes of the Working With Developing Communities (Vietnam) Program

Teaachers knowledge of speech pathology and child language impairment

Outcomes of early cochlear implantation for speech and language development

The effects of early trauma on infant feeding development