G JegasothyGM Jegasothy (Jega) retired from the position of Senior Physiotherapist at Royal Perth Hospital, Shenton Park Campus, Perth, Western Australia, in April 2014. Jega is currently working as a private physiotherapist and maintaining her links with the late effects of polio through the Post Polio Network of WA.

On 13 November 2015 at an Alumni Achievement Awards ceremony in Perth, Jega was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Curtin University. This is “the highest honour of the Alumni Achievement Awards” and is awarded to Curtin University graduates who “over the course of their lifetime, have built an outstanding reputation, demonstrated impact in their profession and the community, and inspired others to strive for excellence“.

Jega’s experience is in the area of acquired brain injury (ABI) rehabilitation over 30 years and in the area of late effects of disability (LED) for over 10 years. She has been involved with research in the area of the management of tone in ABI, publications in the area of hydrotherapy, and lectures and in-service to physiotherapists and to the community in both ABI and LED.

In the area of late effects of disability, Jega looked at the protocol of running a late effects of disability clinic, improving efficiency of client admission into the clinic, networking with professionals for effective decentralisation of clinical services, and patient education.

Clients with the late effects of polio (LEoP) form a major component of the LED Clinic. The clinical knowledge gained from this clinic has been presented in a number of polio conferences within Australia and New Zealand and published in the Post Polio Network of WA (PPNWA) newsletter. The clinical knowledge gained has led to the focus on self-management; client, medical and allied health education; and a focus on a care plan and rehabilitation pathway for the client, with a move away from short term “treatment-centric” focus.

There are a number of areas for future development in the management of LEoP:

  • rate of change in participation ability in LEoP clients;
  • use of mobility aids in maintaining independence and life style;
  • the cost to client and the community;
  • developing a handbook for clients and health professionals about facing surgery;
  • buying footwear;
  • buying and use of mobility aids;
  • wheelchairs and posture;
  • fitness and strength in LEoP; and
  • understanding and interpreting assessment protocols to allow for long-term planning.

A nationwide clinical advisory group will be more effective in developing these guidelines and Jega looks forward to continuing to work with this group.