World Renowned Professor in Physiotherapy held lecture for teachers and students

Published: 1 December 2016

Professor Elizabeth Dean from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, visited Luleå University of Technology in November. She held lectures for students, tutors and teachers at the physiotherapy program. Elisabeth Dean spoke of how physical therapists can treat people with lifestyle-related diseases.

Elizabeth was formerly president of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, WPCT, and has written numerous articles about the importance that the physiotherapy profession use their knowledge to prioritize both promotion and prevention in terms of lifestyle-related diseases.

– Finally it was time for Elizabeth Dean to visit the physiotherapy program at Luleå University of Technology so that students and teachers could take part of her research in how physiotherapy work can be carried out and how a collaboration with her can develop, says Sari-Anne Wiklund Axelsson, Senior lecturer in physiotherapy at Luleå University of Technology.

Elisabeth Dean's work focuses on bridging the knowledge gap between the causes and factors contributing to lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, smoking-related condition, cancer, hypertension, stroke, obesity and diabetes, as well as the practical implementation of physical therapy as a preventive effort on these non contagious diseases.

She conducts research in the Middle East, Asia and Canada, where she is working with international teams with a focus on health-related physical therapy. She has carried out extensive work on the treatment of chronic poliomyelitis based on a model of health and the consideration of cultural factors.

Currently she focuses on knowledge translation of existing and new knowledge from physiotherapists to meet priority health care needs of people globally in the 21st century, especially non-communicable diseases.

– Professor Elizabeth Dean is a very impressive speaker and role model in physiotherapy because she challenges the traditional medical methods. She believes that physiotherapy treatment is as effective as medication in these lifestyle diseases, says Sari-Anne Wiklund Axelsson

Elizabeth Dean stayed in Lulea for two intense days, and her visits helped to clarify the meaning of promotivt and preventive work both for future physical therapists, physical therapists, doctoral supervisors and teachers.