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Personal profile

Research Biography

As an occupational therapist with 25 years clinical experience, Deidre has an indepth understanding of the public health system and the value and importance of clinical research that informs practical patient care. Her clinical and research focus is in palliative care and she has a particular interest in ways to optimise function at the end of life. Deidre's research interests focus on factors that optimise function for people with advanced disease and ways to measure meaningful clinical gains in this area. She examines this from patient, caregiver and health professional perspectives to obtain a broad understanding of the clinical issues.

Deidre is an inaugural member of the Flinders University Research Centre in Palliative Care, Death and Dying and the founding chair of Australian Allied Health in Palliative Care (AAHPC). She is also a clinical research member of the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC) (UTS). Deidre has research collaborations in the USA and Europe and is a member of the European Association for Palliative Care occupational therapy palliative care taskforce and research collaborative which aims to devleop an international research agenda to evaluate the effectiveness of palliative care OT interventions.

Research Interests

Research interests:

Qualitative methods, phenomenology, embodied experience of illness, dignity and personal hygiene, occupational therapy, palliative and end-of-life care,  rehabilitation and telehealth, mixed methods research.

I have particular interests in

  • ways we can optimise function at the end-of-life - best timing for allied health interventions, efficacy of OT interventions to optimise function
  • ways in which optimising function can be supported through telehealth
  • peoples' embodied experiences of functional decline
  • the effect of dependency in intimate hygiene on dignity at the end-of-life

Supervised Students Successes

  • Mar 2022 Julie Brose - Vice Chancellor's Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence
  • Mar 2022 Raechel Damarell - Best Higher Degree by Research Student Publication, CNHS


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Occupational therapy
  • Palliative care and end of life

Supervisory Interests

  • Rehabilitation
  • Aged care
  • TeleHealth
  • Occupational therapy
  • Phenomenology
  • Palliative care
  • Qualitative, mixed methods and survey research
  • Allied health


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