Inspiring Health
Transforming Care

Injury and Rehabilitation Research

Injury and rehabilitation researchers at the Ingham Institute are developing new treatments and improving outcomes for people living with musculo-skeletal disorders and brain injuries.

Working alongside emergency, intensive care and surgical teams, our researchers transfer their findings directly into new treatment options that are being implemented by hospitals and rehabilitation centres throughout the region.

Our flagship programs in injury and rehabilitation research

With an ageing population, our orthopaedic researchers are monitoring the prevalence of major joint replacements – particularly knee and hip replacements. They are giving people living with degenerative joint conditions and other injuries access to evidence based research on treatment options and potential outcomes.

The Whitlam Orthopaedic Research Centre is internationally recognised for its research on hip and knee surgeries, and the implications of these procedures. Their findings have led to changes in joint replacement surgery practice and improved clinical outcomes.

Tens of thousands of hip and knee replacements are performed in Australia each year. The Australia & New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry has been established, within our rehabilitation research stream, to measure outcomes in hospitals in Australia and New Zealand. The registry monitors improvements undertaken in hospitals and publishes patient outcomes.

Meanwhile, brain injury researchers are focused on improving outcomes for people who have experienced a severe traumatic brain injury. Their research is being conducted in collaboration with international, national, state and local research partners.

The brain injury research team is leading several treatment-based programs. These include ‘Strength 2 Strength‘, a world-first psycho-educational group program that supports families and carers of people living with traumatic brain injuries, and ‘Window to Hope‘, a suicide-prevention program for people living with traumatic brain injuries.

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research Group (BIRRG) is part of the Injury and Rehabilitation research stream at the Ingham Institute. The BIRRG conducts a program of clinical and health services research with the broad aim of alleviating the consequences of traumatic brain injury, focusing on clinically-applied, intervention-oriented research.The BIRRG is led by Associate Professor Grahame Simpson and Barbara Strettles.

It is a joint initiative of the Liverpool Hospital Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit and the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) Brain Injury Rehabilitation Network. Team members come from a broad range of multidisciplinary backgrounds including Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy, Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation Medicine. BIRRG staff also supervise and support higher degree research students and post-doctoral research fellows, as well as offering opportunities for visiting academics from other universities.

Research projects span epidemiological, clinical, psychometric, intervention and translation domains. In particular BIRRG research projects focus on improving physical function, strengthening pathways for vocational re-integration, addressing challenging behaviours, better mental health and suicide prevention, and building family resilience. The group receives competitive funding from a range of international, national and state based research organisations and authorities. BIRRG staff are committed to engaging clinicians, consumers and key stakeholders in the clinical and health services research to facilitate knowledge translation.

BIRRG staff are active in the dissemination of their research in peer-reviewed journals, alongside numerous published abstracts, and presentations at national and international conferences. The BIRRG has developed and supports the implementation of innovative clinical programs across NSW Brain Injury rehabilitation centres including the Window to Hope program, Strength 2 Strength, Act-Adjust and the Vocational Intervention Program

The BIRRG collaborates and has links with a range of academic, professional  and community partners including the University of Sydney, University of NSW, Griffith University, University of Wollongong, University of Colorado Denver, Wayne State University Detroit, The Institute of Rehabilitation Research Baylor College of Medicine Texas, Orebro University in Sweden, I-Care (Insurance and Care NSW), and Brain Injury Australia.

Group Leader

Associate Professor Grahame Simpson

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The Whitlam Orthopaedic Research Centre performs clinical research in the fields of surgery and musculoskeletal health. The Centre supervises undergraduate and post-graduate (doctorate) researchers. They have published research into outcomes after joint replacement, fracture treatment, and rehabilitation as well as studies of research methods. Their research has encompassed the broad range of clinical research, including randomised trials, cohort studies, surveys and systematic reviews.

The Centre is currently engaged in trials of clot prevention in joint replacement surgery, the treatment of hip fractures and wrist fractures, lumbar spine surgery effectiveness and outcomes, and studies looking at weight loss and opioid use prior to joint replacement surgery and their effect on outcomes of surgery.

The directors are involved in several state and federal health bodies as well as professional societies nationally and internationally.

To learn more about the Whitlam Orthopaedic Research Centre, click here.

Group Leaders

Professor Ian Harris & Associate Professor Justine Naylor

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