Holsworth Research Initiative

Our research focusses on exercise, physical activity and rehabilitation.

Where are they now blog series

Dr Stephen Barrett

Where Are They Now? Blog Series

The HRI Director and Stream Leaders have had the privilege of supervising a number of higher degree by research students since the Holsworth Research Initiative began in 2019. These students now work across a broad range of industries including academia, applied sports science and clinical practice.

In this new series, we will update our subscribers on where our past HDR students are now and how their research degree with the La Trobe Health School and the Holsworth Research Initiative helped shape their career.

Part 4: Dr Stephen Barrett Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation Lead at Bendigo Health, Adjunct Research Fellow, La Trobe University

Part Four of our Where Are They Now blog series features Dr Stephen Barrett, a former PhD student of the HRI and the current Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation Lead at Bendigo Health.

Dr Barrett completed his PhD on a part-time basis in 2021 under the supervision of HRI Director, Professor Michael Kingsley and HRI Stream Leader, Associate Professor Steve Begg. Prior to undertaking a PhD, Dr Barrett had previously completed a Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) and a Master of Public Health. During his PhD studies, Dr Barrett was also working at Bendigo Health hospital to improve the delivery of preventive health in hospital settings. Dr Barrett credits his PhD in putting a robust research framework around this important clinical work.

Interventions to change physical activity behaviours

Dr Barrett and his team investigated the effect of behaviour change interventions on physical activity and health-related outcomes in ambulatory secondary care patients. The submitted thesis consisted of a series of six studies.

Integrated motivational interviewing and cognitive behaviour therapy for lifestyle mediators of overweight and obesity in community-dwelling adults: A systematic review and meta-analyses

Integrated motivational interviewing and cognitive behaviour therapy can increase physical activity and improve health of adult ambulatory care patients in a regional hospital: the Healthy4U randomised controlled trial

Cost-effectiveness of telephone coaching for physical inactive ambulatory care hospital patients: economic evaluation alongside the Healthy4U randomised controlled trial

The effect of behaviour change interventions on changes in physical activity and anthropometrics in ambulatory hospital settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Surgeons and preventive health: a mixed methods study of current practice, beliefs and attitudes influencing health promotion activities amongst public hospital surgeons

A physical activity coaching intervention can improve and maintain physical activity and health-related outcomes in adult ambulatory hospital patients: the Healthy4U-2 randomised controlled trial

Dr Barrett’s PhD thesis consisted of two systematic reviews and meta-analyses, one mixed-methods study and three controlled trials. Conclusions from the thesis were;

# Engaging secondary care patients in behaviour change interventions results in the maintenance of improvements in physical activity and other health-related outcomes.

# Engagement with practicing clinicians is essential in integrating preventive health interventions in routine care.

# An understanding of the clinicians’ perspectives and the co-design of simple referral pathways can facilitate the integration of effective preventive health practice into standard care.

The translation of research into practice

Dr Barrett continues to work at Bendigo Health in the Health Promotion department and as the Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation Lead where he provides a link between research and clinical practice. Dr Barrett is also an Adjunct Fellow with our very own La Trobe Rural Health School. Although not planning on completing additional formalised study, Dr Barrett is continuing to undertake short courses relating to implementation science and research translation. When asked about his career aspirations, Dr Barrett states that he hopes to continue to translate high quality research into practice.

Next week is Part five of our 8-part blog series. We will be following up with Miss Jodie Palmer, the current High Performance Manager of Old Scotch Football Club. Missed our previous posts in this series? Read them at the HRI blog using the links below and while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so you can stay informed of all the latest HRI news.

Bendigo local GP Dr Stephen Bovalino

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Mid-Sweden University Dr Craig Staunton

Allied Health Education & Research Manager at Goulburn Valley Health, Dr Emma Macdonald

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