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PhD stuent stood in front of poster

Rehabilitation Science PhD Student receives outstanding poster award at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress in Geneva

by Kyle Vader, PhD student, Rehabilitation Science

I recently attended the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress in Geneva, Switzerland from May 9 – 12th 2019. This was my first time attending a WCPT Congress and I had a fantastic time. To top it off, I was honoured to receive an ‘Outstanding Poster Award’ for the North American Caribbean region on my research titled ‘Experiences participating in physical activity and exercise among adults living with chronic pain: an interpretive description qualitative study.’

This research project came out of my clinical experiences as a physiotherapist in the Chronic Pain Clinic at Kingston Health Sciences Centre. In my practice, I commonly heard patient stories of the challenges they faced engaging in physical activity and exercise. As a result, I wanted to take a systematic approach to better understand this topic using a qualitative approach. I conducted this research under the guidance of my supervisor Dr. Jordan Miller and alongside my physiotherapist colleague Tom Doulas and family physician Dr. Rupa Patel from Kingston Community Health Centre.

Highlights of WCPT Congress included meeting physiotherapists from across the world (with over 100 countries represented!), reconnecting with Canadian physiotherapists in attendance (including School of Rehabilitation Therapy faculty Prof Diana Hopkins-Rosseel and Dr. Kathleen Norman), and getting to hear about top notch research being conducted by physiotherapists across the world. I’m always amazed by the diversity of research being conducted by physiotherapists, whether it is in the intensive care unit, primary care, post-surgical unit, or in the context of global health.

There were so many fantastic sessions at WCPT Congress. Specific sessions that stood out to me include sessions on Diversity and Inclusion (chaired by Dr. Jenny Setchell from University of Queensland), Implicit Bias (chaired by Dr. Jackie Whittaker from University of Alberta), and finally, a talk on Pain and Pain Management (chaired by Dr. Peter O’Sullivan from Curtin University). As someone who is learning research skills as a graduate student, I found it incredibly energizing to be around such a diverse community of clinicians, educators, researchers, policy makers, and other leaders in the field of physiotherapy.

I’ve very grateful to have had the chance to attend WCPT Congress and I’m proud to feel part of the global physiotherapy community. Special thanks to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian MSK Rehab Research Network for supporting my attendance at WCPT Congress. Coming back to my work at Queen’s, I can’t help but feel ‘charged up’ and ready to get back into the swing of things as I prepare for my comprehensive exams and thesis proposal defense.

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