CHHM trainee awarded the Endeavour Research Fellowship from the Australian Government’s scholarship program

CHHM trainee awarded the Endeavour Research Fellowship from the Australian Government’s scholarship program

Erin Macri, a trainee at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility (CHHM) and a Masters Candidate with the Department of Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia, has been awarded a 2012 Endeavour Research Fellowship in Australia. The Endeavour Awards aim to provide opportunities for high achieving individuals to increase their skills and enhance their global awareness. During her 4-month stay at the University of Queensland, Erin will focus on the impact of physical activity on osteoarthritis, anterior knee pain and mobility. Erin will join Dr. Bill Vicenzino and Dr. Kay Crossley, world experts in the area of the patellofemoral joint, to analyse patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour using accelerometry data and compare it with self-report questionnaires.

As a physiotherapist in musculoskeletal rehabilitation, Erin has experience treating patients with knee pain caused by injury, surgery, arthritis or of insidious onset. She has witnessed the burden of osteoarthritis (OA) in terms of both quality of life implications and health care expenditures. Knee OA ultimately limits mobility and reduces independence in performing activities of daily living and self-care. “Many of the factors that contribute to the development of OA are believed to be modifiable. Addressing important modifiable factors early on can significantly alter the trajectory of the disease and its associated costs to health care and quality of life,” Erin said. “I hope to shed light on the importance of early detection and intervention, which represents a paradigm shift from current practice in which knee OA progresses until disability is sufficient to warrant surgery (total knee replacement).”

Erin is currently finishing up the last of her course work towards her MSc in the Experimental Medicine program. Her thesis is investigating instruments for measuring mobility in older adults. She collaborated with Dr. Natalie de Morton, visiting scientist to CHHM from Monash University, in developing normative data for Dr. de Morton’s DEMMI mobility instrument, and presented her
findings at last year’s Canadian Physiotherapy Association annual conference in Whistler, BC. Erin is currently preparing to submit her findings in a paper she has worked on with Drs. Natalie de Morton, Karim Khan and Maureen Ashe. Erin also works with Dr. Maureen Ashe’s team on the B4 study, recruiting and assessing older adults after they have left hospital following hip fracture. In addition to mobility and aging, Erin is also interested in the cervical spine, and in this regard she has enjoyed working with Drs. Peter Cripton and Chris Dennison in critically appraising existing theories on catastrophic cervical spine injury in rugby union; and authoring a chapter on “neck pain” for Dr. Khan’s Clinical Sports Medicine 4th edition.