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Healthy Ageing


Healthy Ageing research encompasses both quantitative and qualitative research into the health and wellness of people across the lifespan.

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Current projects

Current projects are focused on:

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  • Saitta M. Hemakumar D, Boland B, Perry M. (2018) Park-based physical activity interventions for persons with disabilities: A mixed-methods systematic review. Disability and Health Journal. 2018 doi: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2018.07.006
  • Devan H, Hale L, Hempel D, Saipe B, Perry M. (2018) What works and what doesn’t in a self-management intervention for individuals with chronic pain? Qualitative systematic review and meta-synthesis. Physical Therapy (Accepted, 11 February 2018), Special issue on Pain management.
  • Wilkinson, A., Meikle, N., Law, P., Yong, H. J., Butler, P., Kim, J., Mulligan, H., & Hale, L. (2018). How older adults and their informal carers prevent falls: An integrative review of the literature. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 82, 13-19. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.03.002
  • Jayakaran, P., & Vanicek, N. (2018). Stepping forward following lower limb amputation. Physical Therapy Reviews. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10833196.2018.1466439 [Editorial].
  • Bell, R., Smith, C., Hale, L., Kira, G., & Tumilty, S. (2017). Understanding obesity in the context of an Indigenous population: A qualitative study. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2017.04.006
  • Kovanur-Sampath, K., Mani, R., Cotter, J., Gisselman, A. S., & Tumilty, S. (2017). Changes in biochemical markers following spinal manipulation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Musculoskeletal Science & Practice, 29, 120-131. doi: 10.1016/j.msksp.2017.04.004
  • Liu, L., Skinner, M. A., McDonough, S. M., & Baxter, G. D. (2017). Acupuncture for chronic low back pain: A randomized controlled feasibility trial comparing treatment session numbers. Clinical Rehabilitation. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0269215517705690
  • Bell, R., Tumilty, S., Kira, G., Smith, C., & Hale, L. (2016). Using a community based participatory research model within an indigenous framework to establish an exploratory platform of investigation into obesity. Obesity Medicine.
  • Botnmark, I., Tumilty, S., & Mani, R. (2016). Tactile acuity, body schema integrity and physical performance of the shoulder: A cross-sectional study. Manual Therapy,23, 9-16.
  • Falling, C., & Mani, R. (2016). Ageing and obesity indices influences the tactile acuity of the low back regions: A cross-sectional study. Manual Therapy, 23, 25-31.
  • George, E., Hale, L., & Angelo, J. (2016). Valuing the health of the support worker in the aged care sector. Ageing & Society.
  • Higgs, C., Skinner, M., & Hale, L. (2016). Outcomes of a community-based lifestyle programme for adults with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Journal of Primary Health Care, 8(2),
  • Potiki Bryant, K., Hale, L., Tikao, K., Milosavljevic, S., Wright-Tawha, T., Ward, A. L., & Mirfin-Veitch, B. F. (2016). Art as a tool for disseminating research outcomes: The Haua Mana Maori Project and Participatory Action Research in New Zealand. Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation
  • Sampath, K.K, Mani, R., Cotter, J.D. and Tumilty, S. (2015) Measurable changes in the neuro-endocrinal mechanism following spinal manipulation. Medical Hypotheses. 85

More Healthy Ageing publications...

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Year Project title Funding body
2018 Co-creating a digital self-help intervention for people with persistent pain HRC project grant
2017 Ageing well with Chronic Pain Lottery Health
2017 Evidence for pain assessment tools sensitive for Māori - a systematic review of literature HRC Māori Summer studentship
2017 Healthcare providers’ attitudes towards recommending online pain self management resources for people with persistent pain: a mixed method study NZ Pain Society Cynthia Miller Research Grant
2017 Implementing and evaluating the Bridges Stroke Self-Management Programme into South Canterbury District Health Board stroke services: a case study PNZ
2017 Central pain mechanisms in middle-aged and older adults with arthritis. UORG
2017 Uptake and use of non-invasive ventilation in people with neuromuscular disorders: Users and caregivers’ experiences. UORG
2017 How children with disabilities perceive accessing and using parks and playgrounds? Porirua City Council
2016 Tai Chi for Breast Cancer 2017 NZBCF Fellow
2016 Park accessibility: Perceived barriers by older adults in the Wellington area. UORG
2016 How does purchasing a mobility scooter impact upon an individual's physical activity, health and mobility in the community? Lottery Health Research
2016 Efficacy of thoracic spinal manipulation in eliciting changes in the neuro-endocrinal mechanisms in people with Achilles tendinopathy NZMPA
2016 How does frequency of manual therapy treatment influence outcome for people with knee osteoarthritis? NZMPA
2016 Concurrent validity of the Mini-BESTest in people with vestibular dysfunction Otago Branch PNZ
2015 Valuing those supporting people living with cognitive decline. NZ Brain Health Core
2015 Frequency of manual therapy treatment for knee osteoarthritis. UORG
2014  Effects of spinal manipulation on the stress systems – a randomized controlled study. NZMPA
2014 Strabismus and balance MPPT research grant
2014 Multiple sclersis - fatigue management Royal Society travel grant
2014 Difference between dominant and non-dominant hemispheres of brain in the excitability of lower limb muscles in healthy adults MPPT research grant
2013 Self-management of fatigue for people with multiple sclerosis: The minimise fatigue maximise life project UORG
2013 Mobility Scooters keeping older New Zealanders on the move Lotteries Health
2011 Hāua Mana Māori HRC and Ministry of Health
2011 Adapting the Bridges Programme for Stoke to New Zealand physiotherapy Physiotherapy New Zealand
2011 PROFAID trial HRC feasibility grant
2011 Age-related changes in the natural variance of the human footprint. UORG
2011 Amputees New Zealand Artificial Limb Trust
2010 Body composition, balance, strength and falls in older adults with Parkinson’s NZSP
2008 Aqua Aerobics to improve physical function and falls risk in older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis Lotteries Health
2008 An Evaluation of the ACC Steady as You Go Fall Prevention Programme ACC contestable funding round

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Graduate students

PhD students

Ricky Bell

Graduated August 2018

Huarahi Hauora – Identifying a pathway forward to wellness for Māori.

Carrie Falling

Persistent musculoskeletal pain among individuals with immune-mediated chronic inflammatory conditions

Normala Mesbah


Postural stability in older adults with early diagnosed Alzheimer's disease.

Kesava Sampath

Thoracic spinal manipulation and short-term changes in the activities of (1) hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis (i.e. HPA-HPG axis) and (2) the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Is that a potential viable treatment option for people with chronic pain?

Bahram Sangelaji


Developing and testing an intervention to promote life-long exercise in people with MS

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News and events

Past events

Caregivers, carers, and support workers in the aged care sector symposium - 7 June 2018

Read more and view videos from the event. 

Symposium Care giver and support workers in the aged care sector: 28 June 2013

This symposium brings together a network of researchers to further explore the social, physical, cultural, and economic issues associated with caregiving in the aged care sector.  The outcome of the symposium is to set a future research agenda. 

Bridges Stroke study Workbook launch: Dunedin 26 June 2013

In New Zealand about 32,000 people live with disability caused by stroke. Although most people receive rehabilitation whilst in hospital, this care diminishes once discharged home and the person has to learn to cope on their own. Learning to self-manage the effects of a chronic condition is one way of coping.Dr Fiona Jones and colleagues developed an individualised stroke self-management programme for people in the UK with stroke, known as 'Bridges', which includes a workbook to facilitate self-management.

More information about the UK Bridges programme

PROFAID community presentations

PROFAID study feedback of results presentation to the Community Care Trust, Dunedin (June 2013) and Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau Trust, Hamilton (Feb 2013).

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National and international collaborators


  • Professor Lindy Clemsen (University of Sydney)
  • Dr Beatrice Hale (Independent Researcher)
  • Dr Fiona Jones (University of London, St George’s and Kingston University)
  • Marcus King (Callaghan Institute)
  • Professor Steve La Grow (Massey University)
  • Dr Brigit Mirfin-Veitch (Donald Beasley Institute)
  • Dr Linda Robertson (Otago Polytechnic)
  • Associate Professor Roger Stancliffe (University of Sydney)
  • Assoc iate Professor Denise Tayler (AUT University)
  • Dr Andy Towers (Massey University)
  • Dr Gareth Treharne (Department of Psychology)
  • Dr Debra Waters (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine)


  • Stroke Foundation
  • MS and Parkinson's society of Canterbury Inc.

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