Dr Genevieve Dwyer

Position

Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy, Paediatrics, SoSH

Biography

Genevieve is a Senior Lecturer (part time) in the Physiotherapy Program at the University of Western Sydney. Genevieve completed her PhD in the area of assessment of physical activity in preschool-age children. She has a passionate interest in the area of physical activity and especially in how paediatric clinicians can promote health and well-being for all children, including those with disability, through engagement in physical activity.

Genevieve’s PhD involved the development and validation of Pre-PAQ – a questionnaire designed to assess physical activity and sedentary behaviour in preschool-age children (aged 3-5 years), including potential influences on their behaviour. The tool was developed for use in epidemiological projects. More recently she was also an associate investigator in the Physical Activity in Western Sydney (PAWS) project, investigating family-based physical activity participation amongst Western Sydney families with young children. She is currently collaborating with researchers from the Institute Of Musculoskeletal Health (Sydney University) on a project aiming to enhance referral by health professional to suitable exercise and sporting opportunities as part of clinical care for people aged 50+ and people of all ages with physical disabilities. This project is being supported by a Medical Research Future Fund Grant (administered by The University of Sydney).

While Genevieve maintains a key interest in the area of physical activity in children, she is also involved in the “Wobbly Shoe” Project Team with Dr Matt Liston (Kings College, London), Associate Professor Paul Breen (MARCS), Dr Stefania Penkala (SoSH) and Mr Pat Sellars (Durapol Pty Ltd). She is leading investigations in the paediatric arm of the work of this group. The “Mini-Wobbly Shoe” is a novel device that may complement and or improve balance training in children. It is still in a developmental phase of identifying its functionality, safety and acceptability in a paediatric population. Future investigations are planned to investigate if this device can be effectively integrated into current paediatric rehabilitation programs.

Genevieve is also a member of the Transforming early Education and Child Health (TeEACH) Strategic Research Initiative. This Group is administered within the School of Nursing & Midwifery (SON) but involves collaborators from not only from SON, but also School of Medicine, School of Education, School of Social Science and Psychology, School of Business, MARCS, THRI, Centre for Educational Research, Digital Futures and Centre for Research in Mathematics. The TeEACH Group was recently successfully (2018) in attaining a $3.1M University Grant to support a 5-Year program on inter-disciplinary research. The SRI is just getting established. The purpose of the TeEACH SRI is to conduct and disseminate transdisciplinary research to address the wicked problems of the early years such as the impacts of poverty and inequalities on children’s health and learning.

Genevieve’s current research endeavours are focused upon (a) an exploration of physical activity behaviour in primary school-age children with intellectual disability (qualitative study); (b) investigation of motor outcomes in infants born preterm and the relationship in motor trajectories as identified by formal assessments undertaken in the first 12 months and (c) investigation of whether differences exist  in static and dynamic balance control between children born preterm and typically developing children, using a novel assessment approach (using the “Mini-Wobbly Shoe”).
As well as being an academic, Genevieve works part time as a paediatric physiotherapist and she has extensive clinical experience in public and private sector settings. This combination or work experience enhances her appreciation of the importance of translational research in clinical practice.

Research Interests

  • Paediatrics
  • Children with disability
  • Chronic Disease Management across the lifespan
  • Physical Activity
  • Physical Activity Health Promotion

Qualifications

  • PhD University of Sydney
  • MAppSc University of Sydney
  • GradCertAdEd University of New England
  • PDPHS Curtin University of Technology
  • BAppSc Cumberland College of Health Sciences

Awards

  • 2010: Recipent of the APA NSW Branch Award for Outstanding Contribution to Physiotherapy Research
  • 2013: Recipient of the APA National Paediatric Group Yvonne Burns Award for Outstanding Contribution to Paediatric Physiotherapy and the health and wellbeing of Australian Children.
  • 2013: Recipient of best paper by ECR at APA National Paediatric Group Conference

Publications

Contacts Details

EmailG.Dwyer@westernsydney.edu.au
Telephone4620 3993
LocationCampbelltown CampusBuilding 24, Level 2, Room 102