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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. Her PhD, completed in 2012, focused on the embodied experience of functional decline at the end-of-life and patient priorities at this time. It also examined multidisciplinary clinician perspectives about rehabilitation at the end-of-life. In 2013 Deidre moved to Adelaide to take up a research fellow position and project managed the palliative care arm of the 2.5 million dollar NBN telehealth project, funded by the Department of Health. Following this, she held a balanced position in the Occupational Therapy program for 3 years until her move to Palliative and Supportive Services in May 2017. Deidre topic coordinates the post graduate palliative care research topics and her current research focuses on allied health interventions to optimise function for people with advanced disease.

Research Interests

Research interests:

Qualitative methods, phenomenology, embodied experience of illness, occupational therapy, palliative 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

Current research projects:

2015-2017: Management of functional decline for people with advanced disease. Flinders University, Establishment grant, (Morgan, Currow &Tieman) ($9990)

2015-2016: The impact of allied health interventions on optimsing patient function and reducing physical carer burden in community palliative care: A pilot study. Flinders University Co-investment grant (Morgan, Currow, Willis, McCaffrey & Roe) ($22,000)

2017: Occupational adaptation and its relationship with dignity in self-care occupations of community palliative care clients. (Morgan & Marston) ($5000)

2017-2018: A sit-to-stand intervention to improve functional capacity of palliative care recipients in the community. Flinders Foundation (Morgan, Tieman, Currow, To, Swetenham, & Maeder) ($18,691)

2017-2020: End of Life Essentials in acute hospitals.  CommonwealthDepartment of Health/Public Health and Chronic Disease Grant Program (Devery, Rawlings, Morgan) ($743,061)


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