Allied Health

Research within the Kolling Institute focuses on the role of allied health professionals in patient care, from assessment and diagnosis to the management of patients.

Across the Northern Sydney Local Health District, there are more than 1,300 allied health professionals, representing 11 per cent of the workforce. These teams not only provide vital support in hospitals and specialist clinics, but in community settings as well.

The Northern Sydney Local Health District Allied Health Research team undertakes activities which encourage the participation of allied health clinicians in research activities. We are working collaboratively to build a culture of research which will ultimately inform best-practice care for patients.

Professor Jim Elliott Professor James Elliott, PhD, PT, FAPTA

Professor of Allied Health NSLHD (Conjoint)
Director – Neuromuscular Imaging Research Laboratory

Associate Professor Debra Shirley

Senior Lecturer

Priya Arora - PhD Student 

Allied Health and Neuromuscular Imaging Research Laboratory

Allied Health Research Committee: Gwen Hickey, Dr. Fiona Simpson, Dr. Barbara Lucas, Julia Kwiet, Dr. John Atyeo, Jackie Batchelor, Dr. Jane Fleming, Ashley Crook, Lucinda Freeman, Kerry Griffiths, Grace Hosegood, Katherine Martin, Jane McAuliffe, Rupali Sarkar, Jillian Chua, Dr Sally Wooton, Kevin Bloom, Annette Polizois, and Peter Heggie.

  1. MRI and machine learning to improve early prognosis and clinical management after spinal cord injury (R03HD094577 - National Institutes of Health (NIH - Feb 2019 – Jan 2021) Smith, A Weber KA, Berliner J, Albin S, Elliott JM
  2. Neuromuscular Mechanisms Underlying Poor Recovery from Whiplash Injuries (R01HD079076 – NIH - Sept 2014-May 2019) Elliott JM, Courtney DM, Dewald J, Hornby GT, Kwasny M, Parrish TB
  3. Can changes in oropharyngeal morphometry explain self-reported dysphagia and dysphonia in patient with whiplash associated disorder? Stone D, Bogaardt H, Elliott JM
  4. What influences eating behaviours of consumers with chronic schizophrenia? Martin K
  5. Diagnostic lung ultrasound in critical care: evaluation of the short-term effectiveness of physiotherapy treatment. Hansell L.
  6. Experiences of stigma and discrimination experienced by people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background while accessing mental health services and seeking care for musculoskeletal condition. Arora P. Pourkazemi F, Elliott JM

Selected publications from 2016-Present

  1. Muir D, Hibberd F. Reconceptualising Exposure and Some Implications for Cognitive-Behavioural and Psychodynamic Practice Behaviour Change. 2019;36(2):84-101.
  2. Su Zan Tan E, Mackenzie L, Travasssaros K, Yeo M. A pilot study to investigate the feasiblity of the modified blaylock tool for occupational therapy referral (MBTOTR) for use by nurses in actute care. Disabil Rehabil. 2019;38(16):1-9.
  3. Elliott JM, Freeman L, Walton DM, Bray P, Osmotherly P, Cornwall J. The Development of Clinical Genomics and Genetics with Healthcare: How Should the Allied Health Professionals Respond? Journal of Allied Health. Accepted 16 March 2019
  4. Weber KA II, Smith AC, Wasieliewski M, Eghtesad K, Upadhyayula PA, Wintermark M, Hastie TJ, Parrish TB, Mackey S, Elliott JM. Deep Learning Convolutional Neural Networks to Quantify Muscle Fat Infiltration Following Whiplash Injury. Scientific Reports. 2019 May 28;9(1):7973. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44416-8.
  5. Crawford RJ, Fortin M, Weber KA II, Smith AC, Elliott JM. Are MRI Technologies Crucial to our Understanding of Spinal Conditions? J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2019 May;49(5):320-329.
  6. Stone DB, Ward EE, Bogaardt H, Heard R, Martin-Harris B, Smith AC, Elliott JM, Self-Reported Dysphagia and Pharyngeal Volume following Whiplash Injury. Dysphagia. 2021.
  7. Louise Hansell, Maree Milross, Anthony Delaney, David H Tian, George Ntoumenopoulos, Lung ultrasound has greater accuracy than conventional respiratory assessment tools for the diagnosis of pleural effusion, lung consolidation and collapse: a systematic review,
    Journal of Physiotherapy, Volume 67, Issue 1, 2021, Pages 41-48, ISSN 1836-9553,
  8. Stone D, Bogaardt H, Linnstaedt SD, Martin-Harris B, Smith AC, Walton DM, Ward E, Elliott JM. Whiplash-Associated Dysphagia: Considerations of Potential Incidence and Mechanisms. Dysphagia. 2019 Aug 3. https://doi:10.1007/s00455-019-10039-4. [Epub ahead of print]
  9. McLean SA, Ressler KJ, Koenen KC, Neylan TC, Germine L, Jovanovic T, Clifford GD, Zeng D, An X, Linnstaedt SD, Beaudoin FL, House SL, Bollen KA, Musey PI, Hendry P, Jones CW, Lewandowski C, Swor R, Datner E, Mohiuddin K, Stevens JS, Storrow AB, Kurz MC, McGrath M, Fermann GJ, Hudak L, Gentile NT, Chang AM, Peak DA, Pascual JL, Seamon MJ, Sergot P, Peacock WF, Diercks DB, Sanchez LD, Rathlev NK, Domeier RM, Haran JP, Pearson C, Murty VP, Insel TR, Dagum P, Onnela JP, Bruce SE, Gaynes BN, Joormann J, Miller MW, Pietrzak R, Buysse DJ, Pizzagalli DA, Rauch SL, Harte SE, Young LJ, Barch DM, Lebois LAM, van Rooij SJH, Luna B, Smoller JW, Dougherty RF, Pace TW, Binder EB, Sheridan JF, Elliott JM, Basu A, Fromer M, Parlikar T, Zaslavsky AM, and Kessler RC. The AURORA Study: A Longitudinal, Multimodal Library of Brain Biology and Function after Traumatic Stress Exposure. Mol Psychiatry 2019 Accepted for publication.
  10. Elliott JM, Parrish TB, Walton DM, Vassallo AJ, Fundaun J, Wasielewski M, Courtney DM. Does Overall Cervical Spine Pathology Relate to the Clinical Heterogeneity of Chronic Whiplash? American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2019 Jul 1. pii: S0735-6757(19)30447-4. https://doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2019.06.052. [Epub ahead of print]
  11. Katsu A, Tyack Z, Mackey M, Elliott JM, Mackenzie L. Return to Employment for Working-Aged Adults after Burn Injury: A Scoping Review Protocol. BMJ Open. 2021;11:e044145. https://doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044145.
  12. Hoggarth MA, Elliott JM, Smith ZA, Paliwal M, Kwasny MJ, Wasielewski M, Webber KA II, Parrish TB. Is Recovery from Whiplash Influenced by Macromolecular Changes in Spinal Cord White Matter? Sci Rep 10, 22221 2020.


Allied Health related information

For information about opportunities to engage in research see here and here, which include, but are not limited to…

  1. Neuromuscular Mechanisms Underlying Poor Recovery from Whiplash Injurie
  2. Harnessing Data for Better Health
  3. Whole-body MRI
  4. Supervised machine learning methods in the field of deep learning artificial intelligence used to solve complex clinical pattern recognition problems
  5. A stress-diathesis model of chronic musculoskeletal conditions as a new framework to drive prevention and rehabilitation forward

To follow the Neuromuscular Imaging Research Laboratory on Twitter click here.

Events, News and Seminars

Significant investment in our research announced

Significant investment in our research announced

A large collection of research projects will get off the ground following generous funding through t..... Read more

Category: Awards, Funding support, Research Excellence

Research expertise on show

Research expertise on show

The diverse range of exciting research underway across the Northern Health Precinct was profiled dur..... Read more

Category: Presentations, Research Excellence

Innovative research on show

Innovative research on show

An impressive group of emerging leaders addressed the Kolling’s Neuroscience and Pain Showcase, shar..... Read more

Category: Neuroscience and Pain Research, Research Excellence