Dr Lorraine Smith awarded University of Sydney Thompson Fellowship

30 November 2011

Dr Lorraine Smith
Dr Lorraine Smith

Dr Lorraine Smith, Senior Lecturer with the Faculty of Pharmacy has recently been awarded a prestigious University of Sydney Thompson Fellowship. The Thompson Fellowships aim to promote and enhance the careers of academic women and are offered to academic and research-only women employed by the University of Sydney at levels C or D.

The Fellowships provide opportunities for women to develop and strengthen their research, provides support for teaching and administrative responsibilities and funding to secure technical assistance.

Patient self-management of chronic conditions is recognised by the federal government as a critical element in the new paradigm of healthcare delivery. Patients need skills, knowledge and behaviours to enable them to adapt to and cope with the daily challenges of living with a chronic condition, and healthcare professionals of the future need to have a complementary skill set to promote and support patient self-management activities.

Over the last seven years , Dr Smith has pioneered research into a patient-focused self-management framework for disease state management services. This work has resulted in the development, implementation and evaluation of a model of goal setting. So far it has been adapted for use in three disease states (asthma, allergic rhinitis and type 2 diabetes) and tested in two national implementation trials; an NHMRC randomised controlled trial (RCT) and a national competitive research project. Recently, this work has attracted significant interest by colleagues from other health disciplines as well as internationally.

"Current models of chronic disease healthcare are not sustainable. Developing effective patient self-management practices of chronic conditions is imperative if our healthcare system is to cope with the increased morbidity and longevity in our population. The research I have undertaken so far has made a positive and real impact in this area," said Dr Smith.

The Thompson Fellowship will allow Dr Smith to focus solely on progressing her research project for two semesters.

The aims of Dr Smith's proposed project are to conduct randomised trials to test the goal setting model in two new areas: a pilot cross-disciplinary low back pain intervention and an allergic rhinitis feasibility trial in Scotland.

"Developing an effective, evidence-based treatment for chronic low back pain would be a world first and conducting an international trial will have a high visible impact within the community and enhance the reputation of the University of Sydney nationally and internationally."

"This Fellowship will make available the much needed time to undertake a number of patient-focussed projects, the outcomes of which will further extend my goal-setting model into new areas of healthcare treatment and help integrate models of patient self-management into higher education healthcare curricula," says Dr Smith.

"It is an honour to be given this unique opportunity. I intend to make the very best use of the Fellowship to maximise my research."

Find more information on the Thompson Fellowship here:

Find out more about Dr Smith here:

Contact: Kate Sanday

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 5b0024362e1b2613651837423b514d3a0b1f7644013c56111d1d174f1e65361c