La Trobe study named most influential

A La Trobe University led study was judged to be one of the most influential medical studies of 2016.

The American College of Physicians has named the study by La Trobe’s Professor Anne Holland and her colleagues at Alfred Health and Austin Health as the most influential in pulmonary medicine in the past year.

The ACP honour studies published in major journals in the past year based on novelty, quality of the research and the potential impact on clinical practice.

Professor Holland’s research found that home-based pulmonary rehabilitation delivered using minimal resources had similar – and in some cases even superior – outcomes to centre-based pulmonary rehabilitation.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is used to assist people with pulmonary disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Although it is considered an essential treatment, currently less than 10% of Australians with chronic lung disease have access to a program.

Professor Holland said it was a great honour for the study to be recognised by the ACP.

“We always thought that our solution was internationally relevant. This award provides a vote of confidence that our research can make a difference on a global scale,” Professor Holland said.

“This recognition is one way that we can demonstrate impact; that people are reading it and think it makes a difference to patient outcomes.”

The research conducted has paved the way for patients to get easier access the rehabilitation they need in their homes, increasing quality of life and leading to fewer admissions to hospital.

“With home-based rehabilitation we have substantially increased program completion rates,” Professor Holland said.

“Now our challenge is to make home-based pulmonary rehabilitation more widely available to those who need it across the world.”

Media Contact: Dylan May – d.may@latrobe.edu.au - 9479 5353 / 0407125909

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