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APSR Short-Term Research/Training Scholarship

Post-training report

Dr Shirley Ngai

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Research/training:Eucapnic Voluntary Hyperventilation (EVH)
June – August 2013
Host institute:Department of Respiratory Medicine of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia
Host supervisor:Dr Jennifer Alison, University of Sydney

With the support of the APSR Short-Term Research/Training Fellowship, I worked with Dr Jennifer Alison of the University of Sydney to conduct a research study at the Department of Respiratory Medicine of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital from June to August 2013.

During my stay in Sydney, I could uplift my research skills and knowledge in the respiratory assessment and diagnostic tests of asthma, particularly the Eucapnic Voluntary Hyperventilation (EVH) test. The EVH test is used as a surrogate to exercise, to diagnose whether people suffer from Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA). As a physiotherapist, prescribing appropriate exercise based on the patient's condition for training is our main role. My research interests are to explore interventions to improve the exercise capacity; to optimize the training intensity for people with respiratory diseases and to elucidate the physiological mechanisms behind. With this training, I have uplifted my skills in assessing and diagnosing people with EIA, which will be essential for me in designing future research studies. Under the supervision of Dr Alison, I conducted a pilot study to put what I had learnt during the fellowship into practice. The pilot study explored the use of Acu-TENS, an East-meets-West integrative therapy, on the management of people with asthma in response to EVH test.

Dr Jennifer Alison (left)
& Dr Shirley Ngai (right)

I wish to thank the APSR for offering me this short term research fellowship which gave me an invaluable opportunity to advance my knowledge in respiratory medicine and rehabilitation. Last but not least, my sincere thanks to Dr Jennifer Alison (my host supervisor), Dr Gabriel Ng and Dr Margaret Mak (my home supervisors), physicians and respiratory scientists at the Department of Respiratory Medicine, and colleagues at the Department of Physiotherapy of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals, who have given me support to facilitate my research study during the fellowship.