Cancer rehabilitation hot topic at PRoSpER lecture

Every few months, a team of Epworth physiotherapists host a lecture series for allied health clinicians and healthcare workers from 

Epworth and external organisations to encourage professional development while raising funds for vital research conducted by PRoSpER (Physiotherapy ReSearch Epworth Rehabilitation).


Associate Professor Gavin Williams, Epworth physiotherapist and coordinator of the lecture series, said “we’re now into our second year of the lectures. It’s been an incredible opportunity to showcase the expert, evidence-based rehabilitation therapy Epworth is renowned for and impart some of our knowledge to the wider healthcare community.”


“We utilise the expertise of Epworth’s allied health clinicians who present on themes that are topical and of interest to the rehabilitation community. So far this has included gait disorders, spasticity management, amputee rehabilitation and an upcoming chronic pain management event. Every now and then we also draw on the expertise of external providers and partner organisations to give attendees deeper insight into the topic at hand.”


So it was timely that the lecture on 7 May was titled ‘Rehabilitation for Cancer- Does it improve outcomes?’ following the coinciding release of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s position statement on exercise in cancer care, published in the Medical Journal of


Guest Speaker of the evening, Dr Catherine Granger, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne. She is also the head of physiotherapy research and chair of the Allied Health Research and Quality Committee at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.


She has an active research program focused on the areas of exercise, physical activity and patient outcomes for chronic disease patient populations including cancer (lung, colorectal and haematological cancer), cardiac disease and respiratory disease.


Associate Professor Gavin Williams said “the presentation provided great insight into the role of exercise to help improve a person’s overall health and health outcomes, the different phases of exercise and benefits of each – pre, during and post-treatment – and how to implement the recommendations.”


“The lecture and the timely release of this position statement, which calls for exercise to be embedded into every cancer care plan, was also incredibly valuable to us, highlighting that there is always evidence to support the rehabilitation programs Epworth provides, including our cancer rehabilitation programs.”


Invitations to the lecture series are distributed via an internal database to allied health professionals across the state. The events are also accessible to rural and interstate hospitals and practices via web link. If you’d like to go on this database for future events, email


Learn more about Epworth's cancer rehabilitation programs. 


Image1: Dr Catherine Granger speaking at May's PRoSpER lecture night.

Image2: Rosie, an oncology rehabilitation program participant.