Dr Anita Clerke

Dr Anita Clerke PhD., B.App.Sc.O.T. Member AHTA, Member OTA

About AnitaDr Anita Clerke is an Accredited Hand Therapist, and an Occupational Therapist with over 25 years experience. She commenced her career at Ballarat Base Hospital, which had the largest road trauma unit west of Melbourne. This is where her interest in orthopaedic injuries commenced.

Broad experience

Dr Clerke has worked in Victoria, Queensland and overseas. She has worked almost exclusively with hand-injured patients for the last 21 years. She also maintains a caseload of children with hand coordination and writing difficulties. Her professional interests lie in assisting patients to return to, or develop their full potential for upper limb usage, whether they be a student, a worker, or a retiree.

Qualifications

Dr Clerke is an Accredited Hand Therapist with the Australian Hand Therapy Association, of which there are only 200 full members Australia wide. She was the first Hand Therapist in Queensland to receive her PhD. In 2007 she completed the PhD in research about aspects of hand strength. She has published some of her thesis research in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and the (American) Journal of Hand Therapy.

Professional Activities

Dr Clerke keeps up to date with the latest in hand therapy practice by attending and giving presentations at State, National and international conferences throughout each year.

She was an invited speaker at the national Hand Therapy Association’s annual conference in Brisbane in 2009. In March of 2008, 2010, and 2014 she attended the world-renowned Hand Foundation symposium in Philadelphia and observed at the New York Hospital for Special Surgeries.

Dr Clerke presented at the Queensland Hand Surgical Society conference in Noosa in 2011 on the topic of therapy treatments for chronic pain. She has given national webinars in research methodology for clinicians. She is qualified in dry needling (using acupuncture needles) for the upper limb.

Dr Clerke is the past Secretary and past Knowledge and Resources Portfolio person for the Australian Hand Therapy Association and currently conducts a Hand Injury Journal Club and was on the scientific committee for the 2014 National Hand Therapy conference.

Current research project

At the Queensland Hand Surgical Society Annual Conference in November 2015 Dr Clerke won the Best Therapist Paper. She presented a pilot study of an ongoing research project being conducted by Northisde Hand and Upper Limb Clinic. The project is looking at wrist proprioception; people's ability to know where in space their wrist is without looking at it. This perceptial skill can be affected by an injury to the hand or wrist and can affect people's pain and co-ordination skills. Dr Clerke and her team are aiming to continue testing people this year and then present the results at the World Conference of Hand Therapists late in 2016.

Jonathan Clerke

To read more about Jonathan Clerke, visit his website at www.icefirephysiotherapy.com.au