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Telerehabilitation Research Unit


The Telerehabilitation Research Unit consists of a multi-disciplinary group of researchers within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences who are involved in the development of online applications for the delivery of allied health services to persons with physical, communication, and hearing disabilities. The research group consists of individuals from the disciplines of speech pathology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and audiology.

The co-directors of this research unit are Prof Deborah Theodoros (Speech Pathology) and A/Prof Trevor Russell (Physiotherapy). Prof Theodoros is Head of the Division of Speech Pathology and is the Vice-Chair of the Telerehabilitation Special Interest Group of the American Telemedicine Association. A/Prof Trevor Russell has an extensive role in the teaching and coordination of the under-graduate, graduate and post-graduate physiotherapy programs at the University of Queensland including the role of coordinator of the graduate entry Masters of Physiotherapy Studies program. Both Prof Deborah Theodoros and A/Prof Trevor Russell hold affiliate Lecturer positions with the Centre for Online Health at the University of Queensland.

Since 2004, Prof Deborah Theodoros and Dr. Trevor Russell have been successful in obtaining numerous high profile grants. The initial grant for a project in speech pathology was the first NHMRC grant awarded for telehealth in Australia.

The overall objective of the Telerehabilitation Research Unit is to develop, validate and implement telerehabilitation applications to improve access to allied health services for persons with communication disorders, physical disability and/or hearing impairments both within the home, and in rural and remote environments.

The specific objectives are to:

• Further the evidence base of Telerehabilitation through controlled clinical trials of Telerehabilitation interventions.
• Develop clinical guidelines for patient assessment via Telerehabilitation.
• Evaluate the treatment efficacy of specific Telerehabilitation interventions.
• Develop innovative PC based hardware and software solutions to enable the provision of allied health services remotely.
• Develop best practice guidelines for the establishment of telemedicine services in allied health.
• Investigate cost-benefit factors of Telerehabilitation services.

Keywords associated with Telerehabilitation include: telerehab, telehealth, telemedicine, telepractice, telepaediatrics, teleconsultation, ehealth, teleaudiology, eHAB, speech pathology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, audiology, allied health, rehabilitation, exercise physiology.