Holsworth Research Initiative

Our research focusses on exercise, physical activity and rehabilitation.

In the latest blog mini-series from the HRI, we will be checking in with current research students to discuss their research topics, progress and career goals. We hope you enjoy learning about the important work being done by our students and their supervisors in this new monthly series.

Hugo Eduardo De Amorim

Barriers and facilitators for exercise-based rehabilitation in the management of knee/hip osteoarthritis


Dr. Marcos de Noronha, Dr Jayden Hunter, Prof. Michael Kingsley

Hugo came to La Trobe University, Bendigo in 2021 after being successful in his application for a PhD scholarship with the Holsworth Research Initiative. Shortly after arriving, Hugo and his supervisors worked together to develop a framework for a suite of investigations that would both align with Hugo’s background in physiotherapy and meet the key aims of the Holsworth Research Initiative in exercise, physical activity, and rehabilitation. What evolved from those discussions was a thesis that would investigate barriers and facilitators for exercise-based rehabilitation in the management of knee/hip osteoarthritis.

The first-line treatment for osteoarthritis

Globally, the prevalence of osteoarthritis is rising, and increasing with the ageing of the population. There is no question that exercise-based rehabilitation has an important place in knee and hip osteoarthritis treatment, however the adherence to exercise programs is low. This is despite the clear recommendation in most clinical guidelines that exercise-based rehabilitation be the first-line treatment for osteoarthritis to assist with pain, physical function, symptoms of anxiety and depression, social activities and quality of life. Hugo and his supervisors aim to understand why people do not take-up or adhere to exercise-based rehabilitation and how it can be modified to improve sustained participation. An important component to Hugo’s research is the identification of barriers and facilitators to exercise-based rehabilitation in the management of knee/hip osteoarthritis for people from both metropolitan and regional/rural areas.

Looking towards the mid-candidature review

Hugo was successful in his confirmation of candidature at the end of 2022 which is a significant milestone in the first year of a Doctoral Candidature. A presentation is made by the Higher Degree by Research Student to an Academic Panel who must decide if the outlined project will result in a high-quality thesis and that it will be completed in the required time. Hugo is now working towards his mid-candidature review in May 2023 and hopes to present the findings from his systematic review at an international conference in 2023. In the meantime, Hugo is forging ahead with his research creating a survey about barriers and facilitators for people with knee/hip osteoarthritis to exercise-based rehabilitation. Following this, Hugo and his supervisors will develop an intervention to improve sustained participation in exercise programs with the aim to help clinicians to implement clinical guidelines and patients to adhere to treatment.

Reflecting on his studies so far

Reflecting on his studies, Hugo expects that the time management skills, patience, and resilience that has been required so far will serve him well in his future career. We have no doubt that Hugo will be successful and look forward to reporting his research outcomes.

Join us next month as we hear from Philip Lyristakis, a HDR student supervised by Active Rural Individuals Stream Lead, Associate Professor Brett Gordon.

From the Bendigo Braves to winter discipline Olympic athletes, if you missed out last blog mini series speaking with past research students you can find it here.