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Thesis title

Can physical activity intervention in combination with text messaging improve quality of life through increased functional exercise capacity and enhanced exercise self-efficacy in adults with obstructive sleep apnoea?

Area of study

  • Sleep disordered breathing
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Self-management
  • Physical activity
  • Motivational strategies
  • mHealth, sarcopenic obesity


  • Dr Margot Skinner, Centre for Health, Activity, and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago (Primary Supervisor)
  • Associate Professor Debra Waters, Associate Professor, Dept of Medicine/School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago
  • Dr Ben Brockway, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine and Senior Lecturer, Dept of Medicine, University of Otago


BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, University of Northumbria at Newcastle UK, 2001
BSc (Hons) Economics and Management studies, Cardiff University (1995)


  • Rhodes S (2018) Texting to support physical activity behaviour change in adults with obstructive sleep apnoea. Podium presentation, PNZ Conference, Dunedin, September 2018
  • Rhodes S (2016) Physical activity and obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnoea syndrome: nothing to lose (except weight) and everything to gain. Podium presentation, PNZ Conference, Auckland, September 2016
  • Rhodes S (2016) Physical inactivity contributes to cardiovascular disease risk in adults with symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. Poster presentation. Otago Spotlight Series: CVD Research, Wellington, September 2016
  • Rhodes (2016) Obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS): physical activity levels and barriers to activity in an at-risk population. Post-graduate symposium presentation. Health, movement and lifestyle: a multi-disciplinary approach. CHARR week, School of Physiotherapy, November 2016


  • Finalist in the University of Otago Go Beyond the Results Science Communication competition 2018
  • Runner-up in OMSRS Science Writing competition 2018
  • University of Otago Masters Scholarship (full-time) 2016
  • University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship (part-time) 2017

Why did you choose the School of Physiotherapy?

Access to a range of brilliant minds, reputation for excellence in research, close links with the SDHB, opportunity to meet other post-graduate students.

Best things so far

Incredible supervision and support from physiotherapy staff. A welcoming environment where you are encouraged to develop critical thinking and contribute.

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