The Living Well with Chronic Disease Research Group conducts multi-disciplinary research into physical interventions and therapies for chronic diseases that influence healthy aging. Our focus is on chronic conditions that affect the lungs, heart, nervous system, muscles and joints, as well as the impact of obesity.
The research aims to evaluate how the lives of people with these chronic conditions can be improved to enable healthy active ageing. Our Group has 4 major research themes focused on improving outcomes for people with chronic diseases:
Our team has expertise in large randomised-controlled clinical trials of exercise training for people with chronic lung disease including alternatives to gym-based exercises (e.g. Tai Chi, water-based training, walking training), telerehabilitation, maintenance of long term exercise behaviours, adjuncts to exercise training (e.g. oxygen supplementation and non-invasive ventilation), high intensity interval training and implementation of pulmonary rehabilitation within Aboriginal Medical Services.
Reducing sedentary behaviour through incidental physical activity
This theme examines sedentary behaviour and physical activity in people with chronic diseases and will determine appropriate interventions to increase engagement with incidental physical activity. Research will include: epidemiological studies of people with chronic disease to determine associations between physical activity and health outcomes; clinical trials of interventions to examine ways to improve incidental physical activity, thus reducing sedentary behaviour in people with a variety of chronic diseases.
The team currently consists of experts in several chronic diseases (e.g. respiratory, cardiac, neurological, metabolic and musculoskeletal) with backgrounds in allied health, public health, medicine, nursing and IT.
Acute interventions and therapies
This theme incorporates research of interventions to improve management of people with chronic lung and heart diseases. In particular, research of interventions to: improve secretion clearance in people with excessive secretions (e.g bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis); non-invasive ventilation for people with severe lung disease; physiotherapy management of post-operative cardiac patients and those with heart failure.
Future research will encompass the respiratory and rehabilitation management of patients in intensive care.
Primary care management of chronic conditions
This theme examines how allied health can be better integrated with other primary care providers and local hospital service to enable increased access to effective evidence based allied health interventions.
The team currently consists of allied health experts in chronic diseases and has strong links with academic departments of general practice, nursing and pharmacy at the University of Sydney and other universities.