Jump to Content

Professor Karen Grimmer 

Position: Professor Professor Karen Grimmer
Division/Portfolio: Division of Health Sciences
School/Unit: School of Health Sciences
Campus: City East Campus
Office: P4-18C
Telephone: +61 8 830 22769
Fax: +61 8 830 22766
Email: Karen_dot_Grimmer_at_unisa_dot_edu_dot_au
URL for Business Card: http://people.unisa.edu.au/Karen.Grimmer

Karen Grimmer is Professor of Allied Health in the School of Health Sciences. She is the Director of the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE)(www.unisa.edu.au/cahe)

Links to other sites

International Centre for Allied Health Evidence

Teaching interests

  • Karen coordinates and teaches in the postgraduate research courses REHB 5118 and REHB 5119. After eight years of three week face-to-face intensive delivery, these courses will be run in a new online format in 2016. Karen supervises Honours students, Masters by Research and PhD students. Karen has vacancies for one new PhD student in January 2016, in the areas of evidence production and implementation and clinical guideline activities.
  • Karen's teaching interests are in research methodology, biostatistics, allied health epidemiology, evidence-based practice in allied health, clinical practice guidelines and allied health systems evaluation
  • Karen has receieved a number of UniSA awards for excellence in teaching in research, related to research projects conducted with students and other staff in the School of Health Sciences, and also to her supervision of higher research degbree students.
  • Karen is a Professor Extraordinaire (adjunct professor) at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. She is an honorary professor at University of Santo Tomas, Manila. She is adjunct faculty at Nova Southeast University, Florida. She consults to the Hong Kong Hospital Authority on allied health evidence and quality practice.

I teach the following courses

REHB 5118Allied Health Evidence Based Practice 1
REHB 5119Allied Health Evidence Based Practice 2

Professional associations

Karen is a member of the Public Health Association of Australia.

Karen is an associate editor on the Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. She is a member of the international editorial board for the Canadian Journal of Physiotherapy. She is a Deputy Editor for Physiotherapy Research International. She is a regular reviewer for international physiotherapy / allied health/ public health journals / musculoskeletal journals.


Karen spent 19 years in clinical practice in Tasmania, in both the public and private systems, before moving to Adelaide to take up a research fellowship at the School of Physiotherapy, University of South Australia in 1995.

Karen completed her undergraduate physiotherapy degree (B. Phty) at University of Queensland in 1975, her Masters of Medical Science degree from University of Tasmania in 1989, and her PhD (Epidemiology)from Menzies Centre, University of Tasmania in 1996. Her PhD thesis explored population-based research into headache and posture, and questionned many of the traditional ways of physiotherapeutic measurement. Her interest in health service quality lead her to complete the Certificate of Health Economics from Monash University in 1997.

At the University of South Australia, she worked initially as the Senior Research Fellow in the School of Physiotherapy, and in 1996 she assumed the directorship of the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, a position which she currently still holds. She was promoted to Professor of Allied Health, School of Health Sciences in January 2005. Karen's particular areas of primary research interest are in evidence-based practice, discharge planning systems, clinical guideline implementation and spinal health.

Research interests

  • Karen's interests are diverse. They include the philosophy and practice of implementation of evidence, adolescent musculoskeletal health and its public health implications, posture and its determinants, allied health service quality and outcome measurement, discharge planning from hospitals and the systems which underpin good practices.
  • Karen has been a supported researcher at UniSA every year since 1997.
  • Karen directs the research team working from the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, City East Campus. This group of visionary researchers pursue diverse research interests of their own, although all the research is linked by the desire to improve allied health teaching and clinical practices.
  • Karen is the Scientific lead on Project SAGE (2015-2017). This is a cross-institution, international research project being conducted in South Africa, on improving the quality and uptake of primary health care clinical practice guidelines

Research publications


Expertise for Media Contact

I am able to provide media comment in the following areas of expertise:

Discipline: Health, Social Sciences

  • Quality management in allied health services, outcome measurements, cost effectiveness of allied
  • health services, posture and pain

Community Service

Organisation Name:   International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE)
Organisation URL:   http://www.unisa.edu.au/cahe
Level of involvement:   Advice and services to allied health clinicians
Year from:   2002
Year to:   2015
Comments:   iCAHE provides advice and services to allied health clinicians regarding evidence-based practice uptake, implementation and evaluation. iCAHE is the focal reference point in Australia regarding issues of evidence-based practice.

Research Degree Supervisor

Karen works with Australian and international PhD students as principal supervisor across a range of areas.

Change | Staff home page help