BAIL Scholars

BAIL scholars are supported either financially, philosophically and/or pragmatically to enable them as a postgraduate student (in rehabilitation, disability studies or related field) with a passion for Independent Living (IL), to further develop research interests, career opportunities and leadership potential.

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Rachelle Martin 2016
Tracey Croot 2015

Do you want to be the next BAIL scholar?
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Here are the details of what our Fellows are up to.

Rachelle Martin

Researcher Bio:
Rachelle is a trained physiotherapist who has completed her Master in Health Science, endorsed in rehabilitation, in 2014. For two decades Rachelle has worked clinically in the area of acquired brain injury both in the acute rehabilitation and community settings – alongside some forays into cardiac rehabilitation and physiotherapy student clinical tutoring! Her masters research study explored life goals and social identity in people with severe acquired brain injury using interpretative phenomenological analysis. It was posited that there is a need to focus on the role of social identity and the environment in the delivery of person-centred rehabilitation services for people with ABI. This includes developing theoretical frameworks and interventions that better support people in terms of social relationships and social identity throughout their lives.

A focus on outcomes that are considered important by the users of rehabilitation services has continued to interest Rachelle. She has had involvement in research conducted by BAIL and the Laura Fergusson Trust studying the experiences of people who experience disability and who were supported within an Active Support model of care. Rachelle has also been involved with Dr. Debbie Snell in investigating the outcomes of people following mild traumatic brain injury so as to understand why some people recover more quickly and completely than others after concussion. Rachelle continues to be involved in a number of BAIL activities including developing an evaluation of the SIU Transitionz Programme, coordinating the BAIL postgraduate-student support group, and assisting Dr Jo Nunnerley with a number of knowledge translation projects.
Research Project:
She is currently involved in a PhD programme of study continuing to explore what health and wellbeing outcomes are important to people who access rehabilitation services. Specifically, her PhD is researching the outcomes that are important to riders within a therapeutic horse riding programme, along with how effectively New Zealand Riding for the Disabled (NZRDA) is achieving these outcomes.
PhD through the Rehabilitation Teaching and Research Unit (RTRU), University of Otago Wellington.
October 2017 - Data collection complete
Click here for publications
Follow Rachelle’s Blog here
Follow Reflecting Rehabilitation on Facebook
Rachelle presented some of her results at the NZRA Conference

PUTTING CONTEXT IN PLACE therapeutic landscape experiences of child riders involved in a therapeutic horse riding intervention

BAIL Peer Group - 03/11/16 Presentation by Rachelle Martin - ‘Horses for courses’: Evaluating effectiveness in complex rehabilitation interventions.

Tracey Croot

Researcher Bio:
Tracey has been a Physiotherapist at the Burwood Spinal Unit (BSU) for almost 15 years. She has a particular interest in the acute spinal cord impairment rehabilitation phase. A strong advocate for establishing a national SCI registry, she is currently the lead researcher on a year-long pilot study at the BSU looking at establishing such a registry. The study involves investigating two international registries (Canada’s Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry and Australia’s SpinalCARE Data Registry) and making recommendations to the National SCI Strategy as to the utility and feasibility of implementing a NZ registry. The pilot is due for completion at the end of June 2015.

Research Project:
The benefits of patient registries are well established and wide ranging. Less is known of staff opinion and the impact of clinician data entry on staff. The aim of this Masters research is to explore the implementation of a SCI registry into clinical practice. Demographics for the patient population will be explored and described quantitatively. Statistical analysis will focus on characteristics of the “missing data” (incomplete data entry). The second qualitative phase will use focus groups with clinical staff to explore opinions and experiences using the registry.

A Masters of Health Sciences project through the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch.
“The implementation of a spinal cord impairment registry into clinical practice in the Burwood Spinal Unit, New Zealand."
October 2017 - Data collection and analysis complete, write up underway

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BAIL Peer Group - 03/11/16 Tracey Croot - The implementation of a spinal cord impairment registry into clinical practice – the challenges of simultaneously working in your area of research.


Jason Nicholls 2014 - 2015

A Master of Health Sciences project with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch.

The "Ready to Roll" study will use a nationwide survey of community dwelling wheelchair users to identify if there is widespread support for the concept of a register and to better understand what concerns people with disabilities may have with it. Current Information Communication Technology (ICT) use amongst NZ wheelchair users will be explored and potential ICT solutions, that could sit alongside a register, will be considered.

Study completed. Congratulations to Jason on passing his Masters. Here is a summary of the study results

For more detailed information about the Ready To Roll study click here.

John Bourke 2013-2016

Researcher Bio:
John Bourke experienced a spinal cord injury in 2005 and now lives with C4/5 tetraplegia. Following his injury John completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology at Massey University and then a Masters in Health Science degree through the University of Otago, which explores the rehabilitation experience of those living with tetraplegia. With a keen interest in rehabilitation and disability issues, John currently teaches a paper regarding Independent Living following serious injury/impairment at the Christchurch Polytechnic and Institute of Technology (CPIT).

Research Project:
A PhD project through the University of Canterbury titled "Disability and natural disasters: are those with mobility impairments remembered?"

Completed -Congratulations to Johnny on passing his PhD

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BAIL Peer Group - 03/11/16 Johnny Bourke - Long term recovery following the Canterbury earthquakes: A cross-sectional survey of wheelchair users’ experience of community inclusion.

Dr Carolyn Beaver

A Master of Health Sciences project examining experiences of CPAP for sleep apnoea in tetraplegia. Rehabilitation Teaching and Research Unit (RTRU), University of Otago Wellington.