About Dr Alison Harmer

Dr Harmer’s research integrates exercise physiology with physiotherapy. Her main research interests include effects of exercise, exercise training and rehabilitation among patients with diabetes, osteoarthritis, joint replacement and obesity.

Dr Alison Harmer is a physiotherapist with a PhD in exercise physiology. Alison has expertise in randomised clinical trials and longitudinal cohort trials among patients with conditions such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, joint replacement and obesity. Dr Harmer has expertise with measurement and analysis of muscle, metabolic, cardiorespiratory, self-report (patient-centred) outcomes and disease-specific measures.

Dr Harmer has supervised 8 Honours and 2 PhD students to completion; and is currently supervising 3 PhD students at the University of Sydney. Dr Harmer has published in highly-ranked journals such as Thorax, Diabetes Care, Arthritis Care & Research and Journal of Applied Physiology; and her research has been cited over 400 times. The impact of Dr Harmer's papers is recognized by the physiotherapy profession specifically and by the scientific community. Her paper Harmer et al. (2008) Sprint training increases muscle oxidative metabolism during high-intensity exercise in patients with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 31(11): 2097-2102 was selected as the 2009 Australian Physiotherapy Association Highlighted Paper; and Harmer et al. (2007) High-intensity training improves plasma glucose and acid-base regulation during intermittent maximal exercise in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 30 (5): 1269-1271 was cited as a paper of outstanding interest in a review paper: Lumb, A.N. & Gallen, I.W. (2009) Diabetes management for intense exercise. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 16: 150-155. Dr Harmer's PhD students' research work has been recognized by publication in high impact journals as well as award of prizes at conferences for oral and poster presentations.

Selected publications

  • Han ASY, Nairn L, Harmer AR, Crosbie J, March L, Parker D, Crawford R & Fransen M (2014) Early rehabilitation after total knee replacement surgery. A multicenter non-inferiority randomized clinical trial comparing a home exercise program with usual outpatient care. Arthritis Care & Research, Sep 12. doi: 10.1002/acr.22457
  • Harmer AR, Elkins MR (2014) PEDro systematic review update. The effect of supervised exercise training on glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes is influenced more by the amount of exercise than by its mode or intensity. Br J Sports Med. Published online 23 April 2014 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2013-093225
  • Harmer AR, Ruell PA, Hunter SK, McKenna MJ, Thom JM, Chisholm DJ, Flack JR (2014) Effects of type 1 diabetes, sprint training and sex on skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ uptake and Ca2+-ATPase activity. Journal of Physiology, 592.3: 523-535. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2013.261172
  • Hollier CA, Harmer AR, Maxwell LJ, Menadue C, Willson GN, Unger G, Flunt D, Black DA & Piper AJ (2014) Moderate concentrations of supplemental oxygen worsen hypercapnia in obesity hypoventilation syndrome: a randomised crossover study. Thorax 69: 346-53 doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-204389
  • Fransen M, Su S, Harmer AR, Blyth FM, Naganathan V, Sambrook P, Le Couteur D, Cumming RG (2014) A longitudinal study of knee pain in older men: Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project. Age Ageing 43: 206-12 doi: 10.1093/ageing/aft188
  • Hollier CA, Maxwell LJ, Harmer AR, Menadue C, Piper AJ, Black DA, Willson GN, Alison JA (2013) Validity of arterialised-venous PCO2, pH and bicarbonate in obesity hypoventilation syndrome. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 188: 165-71. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2013.05.031
  • Harmer AR, Naylor JM, Crosbie J, Russell T (2009) Land-based versus water-based rehabilitation following total knee replacement: A randomized, single-blind trial. Arthritis Care & Research, 61(2): 184-191. doi: 10.1002/art.24420
  • Harmer AR, Chisholm DJ, McKenna MJ, Hunter SK, Ruell PA, Naylor JM, Maxwell LJ, Flack JR (2008) Sprint training increases muscle oxidative metabolism during high-intensity exercise in patients with type 1 diabetes. doi: 10.2337/dc08-0329 Diabetes Care, 31(11): 2097-2102.
  • Harmer AR, Chisholm DJ, McKenna MJ, Morris NR, Thom JM, Bennett G, Flack JR (2007) High-intensity training improves plasma glucose and acid-base regulation during intermittent maximal exercise in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 30 (5): 1269-1271. PMID: 17325264
  • Hassett, LM, Moseley AM, Harmer AR, van Der Ploeg HP (2014) The reliability, validity and feasibility of physical activity measurement in adults with traumatic brain injury: an observational study. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, Apr 9, 2014 Epub ahead of print. PMID: 24721810