Bond researcher honoured with a 2012 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award

November 27, 2012

Bond University researcher and academic, Associate Professor Tammy Hoffmann was one of six scientists to receive a prestigious 2012 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award, it was announced last night.

Working as a Clinical Epidemiologist with the Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice (CREBP) at Bond’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Associate Professor Hoffmann was recognised for her innovative developments in the field of occupational therapy, patient education and evidence-based practice.

It is the first time a Bond University researcher has received this prestigious award and affirms the growth and quality of the University’s research output. 

According to the Director of CREBP and one of the world’s experts in Evidence-Based Practice, Professor Paul Glasziou, “Tammy’s research is changing the way occupational therapy is practiced throughout the world. This award is testament to her significant contribution to science and her research activity at Bond,” he said.

Associate Professor Hoffmann’s research focuses on identifying the facilitators to, and barriers of evidence-based practice from both the health professionals' and patients' perspective and developing and evaluating solutions to improve the incorporation of research evidence into clinical practice.

She has emerged as a leader in helping health professionals to communicate more effectively with their patients – and vice versa.

“An important part of evidence-based practice that is often overlooked is how health professionals talk to patients about the various tests or treatment options,” said Associate Professor Hoffmann.

“As such, developing better methods of providing patient education and educating patients about how to communicate with their clinicians go hand-in-hand with evidence-based practice.”

She is also one of a team of occupational therapists responsible for developing OTseeker (Occupational Therapy Systematic Evaluation of Evidence) – the world’s most complete online index of the evidence on occupational therapy interventions. It is internationally recognised as a key allied health resource and now includes over 9000 entries accessed by over 1.8 million visitors from 100 countries worldwide.

“The concept of OTseeker is that it allows allied health professionals to quickly find the latest research about treatments and determine whether they can be used in practice,” said Associate Professor Hoffmann.

In addition to conducting workshops nationally and internationally on evidence-based practice, Associate Professor Hoffmann has written online and magazine articles outlining communication structures that parents can use with health professionals and she has also developed a tailored stroke education package that is now used in many health facilities across Australia to improve the quality of education that stroke patients and their families receive. She also contributes to the National Stroke Foundation’s ‘Ask an Expert’ web-based forum.

The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards are an initiative of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, inaugurated in 1999 to acknowledge the achievements of Australia’s best young scientific researchers across all fields and to promote Australian intellectual excellence and endeavour.

The Queensland Young Tall Poppy Awards ceremony for 2012 was held at the Science and Innovation Celebration at the Queensland Museum on November 26.