Tammy Aplin

Tammy Aplin

Tammy is a Senior Research Fellow at The Hopkins Centre and Associate Editor of the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. She was a lecturer and senior research fellow at the University of Queensland for 10 years, most recently as a conjoint senior research fellow at The Prince Charles Hospital. Tammy has 37 peer reviewed publications and a h-index of 8, with 33 documents recorded in Scopus (2023). These 37 publications include 33 journal articles and 4 book chapters. Her research is nationally and internationally recognised and has directly impacted occupational therapy practice globally, with the Post Modification Satisfaction Questionnaire (PMSQ) utilised by several national and international organisations including the Tasmanian Department of Health, iCare New South Wales, Work SafeBC in Canada, and private occupational therapy providers.

Tammy has supervised 6 PhD and MPhil students to completion and currently is advisor to 10 PhD students. She has also supervised 32 advanced research students/honours students to completion. She has extensive teaching experience, coordinating over 32 courses and leading curriculum development during her time as lecturer at UQ. 

Prior to becoming a researcher and educator, Tammy was a community occupational therapist. She worked with older adults and people with disability in their homes to find solutions to enhance their daily experience of home, including their participation, safety, and enjoyment of life at home.

Research Area of Interest:

Tammy’s research focuses on the home environment in a range of health and social service contexts. This includes housing, home modifications, occupational therapy community practice, and home care. Her research aims to improve housing, the experience of home, and the services provided within the home for older adults and people with disability. A key area of research for Dr Aplin is home modification practice. Her PhD sought to understand the experience of home and how this influenced and is impacted by home modifications. Applying these findings, she developed two measurement instruments to inform decision making, and evaluate home modification practice. She has continued research into home modification practice along with other projects exploring the relationships between home and health, housing design, and evaluating and developing services provided in the home including community occupational therapy practice.

What is something people would find surprising about you?

Probably not surprising but my hobbies are also home focused. I love being at home, gardening (or I like the idea of being a gardener – my garden would not suggest I am a gardener), baking, and soaking up the sunshine.  I am very interested in tiny homes and what they offer, and like many tiny home enthusiasts – love the Living Big in a Tiny House Youtube show.  One day I hope to be a tiny home resident.

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

I have recently started pottery and love everything about it. It is rewarding and relaxing all at the same time. As an occupational therapist, it has been a lovely reminder of the therapeutic value of arts and crafts at the root of our profession.


Research Higher Degree Supervision:

Tammy has supervised 6 PhD and MPhil students to completion and currently is advisor to 10 PhD students. She has also supervised 32 advanced research students/honours students to completion.

Awards and Honours:

1.    Dr Tammy Aplin. (2022). Award for Higher Degree Research Supervision. School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland.

2.    Morris, N, Bell, J., Lazzarini, P., & Aplin, T. (2020). Complex Health Challenges Research. Award from Metro North Research Excellence Awards

3.    Best student poster award – Aplin, T., de Jonge, D., & Gustafsson, L. (2011). Understanding the impact of home modifications on the dimensions of home. OT Australia National Conference, Making Evidence Work: Informing practices, organisations and the profession, 29th June - 1st July, Gold Coast Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast, Queensland.

Research Grants (last 3 years):

Total competitive grant funding of $661,000 from 12 external and 3 internal (UQ) grants (last 3 years presented)

1.      2022 – Dr James Kirby & Dr Tammy Aplin. Project title: Research into young adults with disabilities transitioning from aged care. Youngcare, $75,000.

2.      2022 - Dr Tammy Aplin, Mr Mark Russi and Professor Jennifer Fleming. Project Title: Fostering resilience and personal growth for people with traumatic spinal cord injury. Philanthropic funding, $242,000, CIA.

3.      2021 - Maureen Godfrey, Sheetal Sharma, & Dr Tammy Aplin. Project title: Patient and Therapist Experiences using Cognitive Orientation to Daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) for Cognitive Rehabilitation in an Outpatient Rehabilitation Service. CAHRLI Innovation Funding, MNHHS, $7,000, CIC.

4.      2021 - Ms Hwei Lan Tan, Dr Tammy Aplin, Dr Tomomi McAuliffe & Dr Hannah Gullo. Project title: Co-designing smartphone and App training and resource toolkit for people with vision impairment (PVI). Digital for Life (Singapore government grant), $168,000, CIB

5.      2020 - Ms Hwei Lan Tan, Dr Tammy Aplin, & Dr Hannah Gullo. Project title: Understanding how people with vision impairment (PVI) are supported to use smartphones and their applications (Apps). SIT Applied Research SEED Grant, $5000, CIB

Publications (last 3 years):

1.      Aplin, T., & Petersen, M. (2023).Relationships between housing and health for older private renters: evidence from a pilot study in Australia. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 1-20. doi: 10.1007/s10901-022-10007-9

2.      *Adalja, B., Aplin, T., Sterling, M., & Johnston, V. (2023).Implementation of the “clinical framework for the delivery of health services” by treating healthcare professionals: perspectives of regulators and insurers. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-9. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2023.2171496

3.      *Lee, S. V., Aplin, T., Sefidani Forough, A., & Steadman, K. J. (2023). Perceived Usability of Tablet Crushers: Comparison of Devices by People with and without Limited Hand Functions. Pharmaceutics, 15 (2) 517, 517. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics15020517

4.      Aplin, T.,  & Liddle, J. (2022). Partnering with consumers: Do occupational therapists genuinely partner? Can we do more?. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 69 (6), 649-652. doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12848

5.      Aplin, T., Lowies, B., & McGreal, S. (2022). The home environment: influences on the health of young-old and old-old adults in Australia. Ageing and Society, 1-19. doi: 10.1017/s0144686x22000757

6.      Gustafsson, L., McKinstry, C., Buchanan, A., Laver, K., Pepin, G., Aplin, T., Hyett., Isbel, S., Liddle, J., & Murray, C. (2022). Doing, being, becoming, and belonging—A diversity, equity, and inclusion commitment. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 69 (4), 375-378. doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12831

7.      *Tan, H. L., Aplin, T., McAuliffe, T., & Gullo, H. (2022). An exploration of smartphone use by, and support for people with vision impairment: a scoping review. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 1-26. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2022.2092223

8.      *Abedi, M., Aplin, T. Gane, E., & Johnston, V. (2022). Exploring the perspectives of key stakeholders in returning to work after minor to serious road traffic injuries: a qualitative study. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. doi: 10.1007/s10926-022-10051-w

9.      *Bryant, C., Aplin, T.  & Setchell, J. (2022). Sexuality Support After Spinal Cord Injury: What is Provided in Australian Practice Settings?: Sexuality Support After Spinal Cord Injury. Sexuality and Disability, 40 (3), 409-423. doi: 10.1007/s11195-022-09756-w

10.   Aplin, T., Crawford, E., & de Jonge, D. (2021). Fundamentals of occupational therapy: understanding the environment. In Brown, T., Bourke-Taylor, H., Isbel, S., Cordier, R., & Gustafsson, L (Eds.). Occupational Therapy in Australia: Professional and Practice Issues (2nd ed.). Allen and Unwin.

11.   Gane, E.M., Plinsinga, M.L., Brakenridge, C.L., Smits, E. J., Aplin, T., & Johnston, V. (2021). The impact of musculoskeletal injuries sustained in road traffic crashes on work-related outcomes: a systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (21) 11504. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182111504

12.   Petersen, M. & Aplin, T. (2021). Exploring older tenants’ healthy ageing in privately rented homes. Australian Social Work. doi: 10.1080/0312407x.2021.1970783

13.   *Bryant, C., Gustafsson, L., Aplin, T., & Setchell, J. (2021). Supporting sexuality after spinal cord injury: a scoping review of non-medical approaches. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-14. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2021.1937339

14.   *Abedi, M., Gane, E., Aplin, T., Zerguine, H., & Johnston, V. (2021). Barriers and facilitators associated with return to work following minor to serious road traffic musculoskeletal injuries: a systematic review. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 32 (1), 13-26. doi: 10.1007/s10926-021-09994-3

15.   Aplin, T., Hoyle, M., Fiechtner, E., Bailey, A., & Ainsworth, E. (2020).  Home modification service delivery in Australia. Journal of Aging and Environment. doi.org/10.1080/26892618.2020.1743512

*Research student lead author


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