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Monday 16 September 2019 9:55am

Project staff involved in developing Physiotherapy Clinical Guidelines for People with Spinal Cord Injury Image
Dr Jo Nunnerley (left) and Dr Jennifer Dunn (centre), sharing NZ Principle Investigator responsibility for the development of physiotherapy clinical practice guidelines for spinal cord injuries. Also seen are project team members Verna Stavric (NZ), Dr Joanne Glinsky (NSW), and Prof. Lisa Harvey (NSW).

Two University of Otago researchers are leading New Zealand's contribution towards developing new clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy. The guidelines, when developed, will inform the standard of physiotherapy care and rehabilitation offered to people with spinal cord injuries throughout Australasia.

Dr Jo Nunnerley and Dr Jennifer Dunn are both registered physiotherapists with extensive experience working with people who have a spinal cord injury. And both are Research Fellows within the University's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine.

The team's perspective is contextualised by an understanding of why different therapies are and are not currently provided. This was gained from a series of focus group meetings that were conducted throughout 2019 with practicing physiotherapists, other related health professionals, and people with spinal cord injuries.

Nunnerley and Dunn join the Australasian team of researchers and clinicians at phase two of the project, which is focused on recommending and writing Clinical Practice Guidelines based on published research evidence and clinical opinion. The conclusion of phase two of the project will see the launch of clinical practice guidelines in early 2021.

This will be followed by phase three, which focuses on the translation of the guidelines into clinical practice, ensuring physiotherapists are supported in adopting enhanced practices.

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