Ellie Frayne our superstar Physio who is completing her PhD in the area of facial nerve paralysis has just had her first article published in the journal Physical Therapy Reviews. Ellie is in her final year of her PhD and is aiming to have it completed by the end of March 2016. As part of this process she will have to publish up to five papers. In her PhD research Ellie is looking at facial rehabilitation exercises and trying to work out why they are so fatiguing. Often patients can only do 2 or 3 reps of a facial exercise before maxing out!
To do this she is researching two areas; a special type of fatigue related to consciously controlling movements that are normally automatic (like smiling) and doing the first research on how accurate movement is in uninjured faces compared to the jaw. When applied this research will hopefully lead to ways of changing the exercises so that people can increase the quality and quantity of face exercises and improve their recovery.
Ellie had this to say about her PhD experience so far. “Research is really time consuming work. I have found it to be a bit frustrating here and there because of all the paper work needed to be allowed to do research on people, and recruiting participants is a super slow process! I have had heaps of fun developing new pieces of testing equipment for the face. I initially shaped prototypes out of straws, glue and pipe cleaners and eventually got to use a 3D printer to build the “active movement extent discrimination apparatus” pieces for the cheeks! I also really love the critical thinking that you need for research. It makes it quick and easy to stay up to date and critically appraise new research in any area of physio. I am constantly asking myself why things work and how best physio practice could be improved.”
We wish Ellie the best of luck with her research and in getting the rest of her articles published. We know it’s a lot of work but keep it up!
Link to first paper: http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/1743288X14Y.0000000160