Cardiopulmonary Research Area

2015 Snpashot


Our research aims to improve the care of people with lung conditions. This is a broad focus as our team members are physiotherapy teaching academics with clinical backgrounds and interests in diverse settings, from acutely unwell patients in the ICU to people living with chronic lung disease in the community. We are also interested in the training of health care professionals who will care for these groups in the future.


Team members

Kylie Johnston (team leader), Claire Baldwin, Anna Phillips, Gisela van Kessel, Katrina Li (HDR student).

Mentors and Collaborators: Marie Williams, Alan Crockett, Peter Frith, Catherine Paquet, Alex Rowlands


2015 Snapshot

In 2015 our research has been presented:

  • in online publication: Implementing care co-ordination plus early rehabilitation in high-risk COPD patients in transition from hospital to primary care publicly available on the APHCRI website in March 2015 :
  • at national and international conferences including the Thoracic Society of Australia and NZ Annual Scientific Meeting (Gold Coast 28 March - 1 April 2015, where Kylie’s poster was short listed for the TSANZ Best Poster Prize) and the World Congress of Physical Therapy (Singapore, May 2015) where Kylie and Anna had oral and poster presentations in their respective fields. 

In 2015 examples of our ongoing research have included:

  • Pattern of physical activity and sedentary time in survivors of a critical illness during a hospital admission: Claire Baldwin is conducting this study funded by the Physiotherapy Research Foundation to examine the role of activity in the recovery of very unwell patients during and after a stay in the intensive care unit. Around 90% of the required participants have now been recruited to this study based at the Flinders Medical Centre ICU. Claire’s data will also contribute to a multicentre national study of activity in ICU patients. We are looking forward to analysing this data and presenting results in 2016.
  • Use of standardised patient scenarios to develop physiotherapy student safety skills in readiness for clinical placement: Anna Phillips led this study that called in a team of physiotherapy educators, six actors and involved 110 second year physiotherapy students. The study evaluated the effect of a 3-hour practical session using standardised patient simulation (actors playing the role of patients) in contrast to usual practice (student role-plays). Results so far indicate that students benefitted from the simulation experience in their self-perception of preparedness for clinical placement, and ability to conduct communicative, practical and reasoning skills. This study marks a step toward improving the teaching and learning of safe patient management in the physiotherapy program.
  • Respiratory impairment in offspring of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): potential for case finding and early intervention: Katrina Li (PhD student) commenced work on this project in March 2015 with primary supervision from A Prof Marie Williams (ARENA) and associate supervision from Dr Catherine Paquet (CPHR) and Kylie. Katrina’s candidacy was accepted mid-year and she has submitted an abstract to present the first part of her PhD findings (systematic review) at a national conference in 2016.
  • Other current research involving students include an observational study examining the usefulness of the 2 minute walk test in people with COPD (Physiotherapy with Honours student Adrian Potter, supervised by Anna and Kylie) and a systematic review of physical activity levels in acute hospital inpatients (Physiotherapy student Madeline Cooke on a 2015-16 Vacation Scholarship, with Claire, Gisela and Kylie).

In 2015 our contribution toward national groups and advocacy in respiratory physiotherapy includes:

  • Kylie’s role in the writing group for Australian Pulmonary Rehabilitation Guidelines supported by Lung Foundation Australia
  • Claire’s role as SA Chair of the Australian Physiotherapy Association Cardiorespiratory Special Interest Group, and representative to the national body.



For further information on the Cardiopulmonary Research Team, contact Dr Kylie Johnston:


phone: (08) 8302 2086

Areas of study and research

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