Bernie Bissett

Associate Professor

Accepting PhD Students


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Personal profile


Dr Bernie Bissett is a Canberra-based physiotherapist who has specialised in physiotherapy for intensive care and acutely unwell patients. Bernie has more than 17 years' experience working in Sydney, London and Canberra. Since 2013 Bernie has been a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Discipline of Physiotherapy at University of Canberra, while she still maintains a clinical role at Canberra Hospital.

In 2016 Bernie completed her PhD under the supervision of Assoc Professor Jenny Paratz, Assoc Professor Robert Boots and Dr Anne Leditschke. Bernie's PhD work focused on the use of inspiratory muscle training to enhance recovery from mechanical ventilation in adult intensive care patients. Bernie's research work has included both randomised clinical trials and observational studies exploring interventions such as inspiratory muscle training and early mobilisation in ICU, as well we outcome measures for physical function in this population.

Bernie is currently the Deputy Chair of the ICU Research Executive Committee at Canberra Hospital, and sits on the Low Risk Human Research Ethics Committee for the University of Canberra (Faculty of Health). Bernie also chairs the Canberra ICU Multidisciplinary Homegrown Research group, which is a cross-insitutional network to nurture and facilitate high quality ICU-centred research across the Canberra region.

Bernie supervises both Honours and PhD students, and her ongoing research interests are focused on improving recovery and quality of life for adult ICU patients. Bernie is also involved in research into the benefits of simulation-based education for physiotherapy students, particularly Mask-ED hybrid simulation to enhance readiness for clinical practice.

In 2016 Bernie was awarded the UC Faculty of Health Research Impact Prize, and was nominated for the ACT Scientist of the Year Award. Bernie is passionate about collaborating with clinicians to answer patient-centred research questions that will improve patient care around the world.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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