Local news highlights ASHT member's research career

Posted by Elizabeth Patterson, Cape Breton Post on 09/07/2017

ASHT member and Journal of Hand Therapy editor Joy MacDermid was recently featured in her hometown news.

Wreck Cove native well-regarded upper extremity researcher
Elizabeth Patterson
Published on September 1, 2017

SYDNEY, N.S. - It seems ironic that one of Canada’s foremost hand therapists and researchers on the body’s upper extremities would be nursing a sore finger during the final days of her summer holiday in Cape Breton.

“I was having a very good vacation until a day or two ago when I jammed my finger,” said Joy Christine Macdermid, B.Sc. PT, M.Sc., PhD, in a recent phone interview.

The Wreck Cove native has been vacationing at her cottage in Florence over the past few weeks and she tries to get home to Cape Breton as often as she can, where many members of her family still live. Eventually she plans to retire here.

But when she’s not here relaxing, she can be found in London, Ont., where she is a faculty member at the University of Western Ontario. She is co-director of the clinical research lab within the Roth | McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre and also an associate professor (School of Rehabilitation Science) at McMaster University. She is cross-appointed to departments of surgery and epidemiology at both McMaster and Western universities.

And you could go on and on — Macdermid has a 176-page curriculum vitae that is filled with accomplishments, honours and citations that are the result of years of research and hard work in her field.

Her research projects address clinical questions related to enhancing prevention, assessment and management of musculoskeletal disorders and related work disability.

Her specific research interests include understanding factors that contribute to upper extremity disability surgery and rehabilitation intervention effectiveness, randomized clinical trials/trial methodology, cohort outcomes studies, psychometrics of clinical measurement (performance or self-report, measures of pain/disability/quality-of-life), clinical epidemiology, clinical practice guidelines, and knowledge transfer.

Macdermid became interested in physiotherapy just after graduating from St. Mary’s University with a biology degree. She met some physiotherapists while working as a research assistant at a physiology lab at Dalhousie University and became fascinated.

“I became interested in it and found out what people did and decided I wanted to go to school for that,” she said. “I applied and ended up going to the University of Western Ontario. I knew when I went into physio that I was interested in research so I picked Western because it had a master’s program. I worked for a while in physio and became interested in upper extremities and specialized in upper limbs disorders as a hand therapist.”

Full story