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Allied Health Research Unit

The Allied Health Research Unit was established in 2012 to build the research capacity across and within each of Cabrini’s allied health professions.

Cabrini’s Centre for Allied Health Research and Education (CAHRE) was established in 2014. The CAHRE Mission is to improve the health of Cabrini patients and our local community, through development and implementation of clinically-focussed research which translates into best clinical practice. Our Vision is to be the leader in Allied Health Research in Australian private health care.

We have identified three Research Focus Areas within the knowledge translation paradigm for Allied Health research at Cabrini, which link strongly to Cabrini Institute Research Themes:

CAHRE Research Focus Areas:
  1. Implementation of clinical practice guidelines
  2. Rehabilitation and self-management of chronic disease
  3. Health economic evaluations

Our research strategy is built on three supports: capacity, culture and consolidation. Our research leadership team provides mentoring for our clinicians who are interested to become active in research projects. We prioritise research-into-practice projects to ensure our activities provide maximal impact to patients.

While CAHRE is a ‘young’ addition to Cabrini Institute Research Departments, we are active and engaged in delivering conference presentations and publications to disseminate our findings.

We welcome enquiries from potential Masters, Doctoral and PhD research students wishing to undertake their research projects in the area of Allied Health. Email enquiries to

Currently we are involved in a range of research activities, collaborating within our Allied Health disciplines at Cabrini, with medical and nursing staff at Cabrini, and with our external university collaborators.

Topics include:

• Implementation of massage therapy to Cabrini inpatient palliative care services

• Barriers and enablers for referrals and participation in Cabrini’s new evidence-based osteoarthritis management program: Capturing referrer and patient perspectives

• Development and evaluation of a nursing manual handling program for patients with a stroke and other conditions affecting mobility: Stroke Safe Moves program

• Evaluation of meal serve sizes at Cabrini

• Evaluating Chronic Disease Programs within Allied health and Ambulatory Care

• Effect of staff e-learning and simulation training for a dysphagia screening tool on time from patient admission to dysphasia screening and incidence of pneumonia (ASSIST)

• Malnutrition in Victorian Cancer Services (VCS) Phase III: Appraisal of hospital patient food service models to best support improving nutrition care

• Do post-operative sitting and activity restrictions impact on the outcome following elective lumbar micro discectomy?

• Basic Life Support for patients and their family members at cardiac rehabilitation: a feasibility study

• Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs): Phase 1. Scoping review of the literature, design of staff survey to investigate barriers and facilitators to implementation of CPGs

• Telephone or electronic nutrition care delivery (TEND) to upper GI cancer patients: a randomised controlled trial

• Evaluation of nutritional status as measured by hand grip strength, in patients post oesophageal cancer surgery

• Threshold concepts, Ways of thinking and practising and Curriculum: a phenomenological heuristic research enquiry in an entry-level physiotherapy context

• Predicting Delay in Complex Discharge: Why Stay Longer?

• Home assessment visits prior to discharge from hospital after hip fracture: A randomised controlled trial

• Jejunal verses oral nutrition for one month post hospital discharge after major upper gastrointestinal surgery – a multicentre RCT

• Investigating patient satisfaction and nutritional adequacy of the free fluids diet at Cabrini Malvern

• Improving Cabrini health professionals’ capabilities to support self-management in a rehabilitation setting

• Reducing the impact of aphasia in stroke patients and their caregivers a year post onset via a brief early intervention: a cluster randomised control trial of the Action Success Knowledge (ASK) program

• The feasibility of increasing inpatient rehabilitation duration by implementing an additional self-directed independent exercise program: My Therapy

• Implementation of stroke clinical practice guidelines at Cabrini

• An evaluation of multiple financially driven projects run in parallel across a private health service: The Advisory Board projects

• Evidencing Social Work Practice in Health and Mental Health

• A multidisciplinary rehabilitation program for patients following surgery for abdomino-pelvic cancer.

Completed projects include:

• Basic Life Support (BLS) for patients and their family members at cardiac rehabilitation: a feasibility study

• Laying the groundwork for great goal setting in rehabilitation

• Finger Food Menu Proposal (Patient Satisfaction Survey)

• To identify the risk and prevalence of malnutrition in colorectal cancer patients from diagnosis to 30 days post-surgical intervention

• Investigating practice relating to malnutrition in Victorian Cancer Services – Point Prevalence Survey 2014

• Assessing compliance of texture modified diets and thickened fluids provided to patients in a rehabilitation setting (in comparison to current standards)

• The synergies of co-locating sub-acute services: an ideal model for the organisation?

• Improving practice of nutrition therapy in the critically ill: International Nutrition Survey 2013

• Development and piloting of a flexible online secondary prevention program for cardiac patients "HeLP Yourself Online"

CAHRE – Research Unit

Phone: 9508 3423



Head of Department

Dr Helena Frawley PhD FACP (Fellow of the Australian College of Physiotherapists)

Head, Centre for, Allied Health Research and Education; Associate Professor Physiotherapy, Monash University, Melbourne; NHMRC Research Fellow

Phone: 9508 3423; 0418 584 813



Research Fellow

Dr Tash Brusco

Phone: 0408 251 124


Publications - download

Conference Presentations - download