Transforming clinical practice

The partnership between Eastern Health and La Trobe University is improving the quality of healthcare

The Allied Health Clinical Research Office, a partnership between Eastern Health and La Trobe University, is transforming clinical practice through a range of projects that improve the quality of healthcare.

Established in 2006, the Office has become an active centre for allied health research, fostering collaborations between local and international universities, providing training to PhD students and attracting competitive research funding.

“The partnership leverages a strong research culture to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and delivery of health services, along with evidence-based practice,” says research group leader and Eastern Health Chair for the Academic and Research Collaborative in Health (ARCH), Professor Nick Taylor.

“We aim to promote research culture within the organisation and provide clinician education and training to build capability in evidence-based practice.”

Research is driven by real world problems and the findings are quickly translated into practice.

Research by physiotherapist and research fellow, Dr Amy Dennett, found just one in 200 cancer survivors have access to evidence-based exercise rehabilitation that improves health outcomes. This has led to the development of the Cancer Rehabilitation to Recreation (CaReR) Framework, a tailored approach to help health services embed physical activity into cancer care.

“The framework is based on idea that cancer survivors require individualised support to be physically active depending on their needs,” Dennett says. “Different types of support may be required based on their symptoms, physical function and confidence.”

Other research programs include National Health and Medical Research-funded projects to help people live in their community by improving rehabilitation outcomes led by Professor Nick Taylor and improving the way services are provided led by Dr Katherine Harding:

“The advantage of being embedded at Eastern Health is that we span across the university and the health service, and across academics and clinicians, with the result we do clinically relevant research that matters to patients, the health service and the community,” says Professor Taylor.

Meet the research team. The partnership between Eastern Health and La Trobe University is part of the Academic and Research Collaborative in Health (ARCH), which is transforming clinical research capability to deliver better health and social care to Australians.

Find out more about the ARCH, and the Department of Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics and Orthotics on the website and LinkedIn.