“Health professionals may have the best technical skills in the world, but if they don’t work in ways that respect and utilise the strengths of the person they are working alongside, then the outcomes would be less than optimal and the process less than empowering for the person undergoing rehabilitation”.

Dr Rachelle Martin

Rehabilitation Lead
Knowledge Translation Lead


Since a young age, Rachelle has enjoyed teaching and finding interesting ways to communicate with people.  She took an early interest in working with people following a stroke and as a high school student volunteering in the physiotherapy department at Balclutha Hospital, she  vividly remembers supporting a survivor of a severe stroke relearning to sit.

Along the way, she has increasingly come to understand that there is a need to think beyond what we deliver as health professionals, to also consider how we deliver care and rehabilitation services. One motivation in her work at BAIL is making sure that people who experience disability, and particularly those with communication and/or cognitive impairments, are given a voice in research and in the implementation of evidence.  She uses realist research methods to try and better understand what works for who, in which contexts, to what extent and how and finds connecting with people who have a diverse range of interests, experiences, strengths and passions very rewarding.

Alongside her role at BAIL, she works at the Rehabilitation Teaching and Research (RTRU) at the Department of Medicine, University of Otago Wellington and having recently completed her PhD, she is now officially ‘Doc Martin’.

On her days off she enjoys gardening, reading, going to the gym, helping at her local church, and zipping along on her eBike. She also enjoys finding places to explore around New Zealand and coming from a farm in the Catlins, she describes her favourite place “sitting on the rocks at the coast watching penguins puddle along, and sea lions loll about, is pretty special; my tūrangawaewae”.

If she wasn’t involved in research she thinks she would make a good bus driver… hopefully being kind and considerate to all.

Qualifications and Experience:

Rachelle is a trained physiotherapist who has completed her Master in Health Science, endorsed in rehabilitation, in 2014 and a PhD in 2018. She has worked in various settings including acute neurosurgical, community assessment and long term rehabilitation in residential care.

Publications:

Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Snell, D. L., Martin, R. A., Macleod, A. D., Surgenor, L. J., Siegert, R. J., Hay-Smith, E. J. C., Melzer, T., Hooper, G. J., & Anderson, T. (in press).Wrestling with uncertainty after mild traumatic brain injury: a mixed methods study. Disability and Rehabilitation
  • Martin, R.A., Graham, F.P., Taylor, W.J., Levack, W.M.M. (2017) Mechanisms of change for children participating in therapeutic horse riding: a grounded theory. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics. Early online 13.12.17
  • Snell, D. L., Martin, R., Surgenor, L. J., Siegert, R. J., & Hay-Smith, E. J. C. (2017). What’s wrong with me? seeking a coherent understanding of recovery after mild traumatic brain injury. Disability and Rehabilitation, 39(19), 1968–1975.
  • Martin, Rachelle, Levack, William M. M and Sinnott K. Anne. (2014). Life goals and social identity in people with severe acquired brain injury: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(14), 1234–1241.
  • Graham, F., Sinnott, K., Snell, D., Martin, R., & Freeman, C. (2013). A more normal life: Residents’, family, staff and managers’ experience of Active Support at a residential facility for people with physical and intellectual impairments. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability 38(3):256-264.

Conference proceedings

  • Martin, R. A., Levack, W. M. M., Graham, F. P., Taylor, W. J., & Surgenor, L. J. (2017). Putting context in place: Therapeutic landscape experiences of child riders involved in a therapeutic horse riding intervention. Proceedings of the New Zealand Rehabilitation Conference: Making an Impact: Putting Knowledge to Work in Rehabilitation. Retrieved from http://www.nzrehabconference2017.co.nz/
  • Martin, R. (2016, August). Horses for courses: Strengths and challenges of single-case research designs in evaluating the effectiveness of complex rehabilitation interventions. Verbal presentation at the Postgraduate Research Student Symposium, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Snell, D.,. Martin, R., Surgenor, L., Hay-Smith, J., Hooper, G., Melzer, T., Siegert, R., & Anderson, T. (2016). Mild traumatic brain injury and chronic pain: Using mixed methods to explore unique and overlapping phenomenology. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 97(10), (pp. e2-e3). doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2016.08.004
  • Snell DL, Martin R, Macleod, AD, Surgenor L, Siegert RJ, Hay-Smith EJC, Hooper GJ, Melzer T, Anderson T. (2015). Untangling symptoms: postconcussion syndrome or chronic pain? Abstract accepted for oral presentation at the 2015 AFRM/NZRA Conference Wellington October 2015.
  • Martin, R., Levack, William and Sinnott, K. Anne (2014) Life goals and social identity in people with severe acquired brain injury: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Paper presented at the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI) conference, Fremantle, Australia 8-10 May 2014 .
  • Graham, F. Sinnott, K.A., Snell,D., Martin, R. & Freeman, C. (2013). A more normal life: Residents’, family, staff and managers’ experience of Active Support at a residential facility for people with physical and intellectual impairments. Paper presented at the New Zealand Rehabilitation Association Conference, Nelson 8-10 March 2013.