Kim Delbaere is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at NeuRA and Director of Innovation & Translation at the Falls, Balance & Injury Research Centre, supported by the Australian NHMRC, and Professor at University of New South Wales, Sydney. She graduated in 2001 as a master in Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy at the Ghent University (Belgium) and completed her PhD in 2005 on falls in older people. In 2006, she moved to Australia to work at NeuRA on fear of falling in older people.
Her research has contributed to the understanding of physical, psychological and cognitive factors causing falls. Her multidisciplinary approach incorporates elements from physiotherapy, psychology, brain imaging and software engineering towards preventing falls and promoting healthy ageing. Kim has been successful at developing novel methods of applying technology to healthy ageing for over 10 years, in both healthy older people and a range of chronic diseases. Her contributions to medical research have been recognised through two prestigious NHMRC excellence awards and numerous successful NHMRC applications, including a current NHMRC Investigator grant.
In 2012, Prof Delbaere started her own research group at NeuRA. Her program of research has contributed to identifying risk factors for falls and sub-optimal ageing. She has translated this knowledge into assessment tools and disease-specific exercise interventions. Using technology, she has increased engagement and compliance to self-managed programs through remote compliance monitoring, more accurate targeting of at-risk individuals and increased personalisation of interventions to suit individual abilities and lifestyles. Her interventions combine evidence-based exercise programs with behavioural techniques to enhance long-term adherence and lasting behaviour change. Her clinical trial research has contributed to knowledge of underlying mechanisms by which physical activity interventions improve mobility, mood and cognitive function and increase long-term adherence to self-managed technology-driven interventions.