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  • Health abstracts wanted for physiotherapy conference

    Author: Karen Keast

Allied health professionals, nurses and doctors are being invited to ‘connect’ with physiotherapists through their cutting-edge scientific research, workshops and presentations at the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s (APA) flagship national conference.

The APA has made an open call-out to all health professionals to join physiotherapists in submitting abstracts for its clinical conference, CONNECT 2015, being held on the Gold Coast from October 3-6.

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More than 2000 Australian and international physiotherapists and health professionals are expected to attend the event.

CEO Cris Massis said the APA is looking for a diverse range of presentations to assist physiotherapists in their practice, which ranges from private practice to community centres, hospitals and aged care settings.

“Although it’s a physiotherapy conference, physios are very collaborative by nature and so we love hearing from other health professionals on lessons, on key findings, from a whole range of areas whether it’s exercise physiologists or whether it’s other key researchers,” he said.


“The call is open to all health professionals - that’s a key part of how we frame up a really quality program, to not just look within the profession but what’s happening outside the profession based on the theme around preventative activity, wellness and movement.

“It’s a call to action for anyone - if you’ve got either a case study or some research or some innovations in those areas we’d really love to hear about it, and try and help frame our program to be current, contemporary and relevant to the attendees.”

The conference will feature keynote speakers including Professor Steven Blair, of the Departments of Exercise Science and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, who will share his expertise on the associations between lifestyle and health with an emphasis on exercise, physical fitness and chronic disease.

The event will also feature Australian health expert Craig Harper and Australian Olympian Sally Pearson OAM - one of the fastest 100m hurdlers in history.

Mr Massis said Ms Pearson will discuss her life-long experience with physiotherapy.

“What we’re trying to demonstrate there is that connection between having a physio accompanying you through all life stages, not just at an elite level but also in a level where to get movement back, return from injury, or even just to stay fit and healthy," he said.

“We want to demonstrate that relationship obviously in a high profile setting but how that can relate to the every day Australian as well.”

Mr Massis said the conference is one of the largest gatherings of physiotherapists in the Southern Hemisphere and comes as the profession continues to flourish.

“The numbers of physios coming through in the schools and graduating and registering - it’s quite a large and aggressively growing profession,” he said.

“At the moment the industry itself is a $1.5 billion industry but it is growing at a rapid pace.

“I think we’re trying to shape the conference to really get our members and also non-physios ready for the next phase in health in Australia.”

Abstract submissions close on May 4.


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Karen Keast

Karen Keast is a freelance health journalist who writes news and feature articles for HealthTimes.

Karen regularly writes for some of Australia’s leading health news websites and magazines.  In a media career spanning 20 years, Karen has worked as a senior journalist in newspapers and television. She has covered the grind of daily news and worked as a politics reporter at countless state and federal elections.

Since venturing into freelance writing five years ago, Karen has found her niche in writing about the health sector for editors, businesses and corporations.

Karen has interviewed the heads of peak health organisations in Australia and overseas, and written hundreds of news and feature articles covering the dedicated work of health professionals who tread the corridors of hospitals and health services, universities, aged care facilities and practices, day in and day out.

Follow Karen Keast on Twitter @stylemywords