Princess Alexandra Hospital Exercise Physiologist, Sarah Jeffery, has been awarded for her research into the implementation of an exercise physiologist in an acquired brain injury transition setting.
The research project, taking place over the past three years, delved into her own journey in establishing the role within the PA Hospital’s Acquired Brain Injury Transitional Rehabilitation Service (ABI TRS) and was awarded runner-up at this year’s Exercise and Sports Science Australia Research to Practice Conference.
“The establishment of the role within this setting has been an important journey that required working collaboratively with the existing team to best support the patient and prevent the development of secondary disease or disability,” said Sarah.
Sarah said that the key roles of an exercise physiologist within this space include:
- Screening and risk stratifying to ensure the safety and appropriateness of exercise and physical activity interventions,
- the development of safe, sustainable, effective, individualised, physical activity and exercise programs
- the provision of health education, advice and support, such as diet, nutrition, self-management.
Sarah’s research, ‘Implementing the role of an exercise physiologist in an acquired brain injury transition setting’, was presented at the online conference earlier this year.
For Sarah, the role is all about finding common ground with people both mentally and physically.
“It’s not always about the hardest exercise efforts, but instead establishing regular participation in meaningful activities that can provide social, physical and mental wellbeing outcomes.
“I love supporting clients to re-engage or explore new physical activity options after an Acquired Brain Injury when there has been so much change to their situation and identity.
“It can often provide them with a sense of independence, achievement and control.”