Caitlin McArthur

Aging, Health and Well-being PhD Candidate (Kinesiology)

Caitlin McArthur profile photo in hallway

Challenging the status quo

Caitlin McArthur is on a mission to improve rehabilitation for residents living in long-term care. As a physiotherapist who works in this setting, she understands what matters most to her clients and incorporates those learnings into her doctoral research, “it reminds me of what is realistic to implement in a clinical setting”. In turn, having a clinical background also makes her the perfect translator of evidence-based findings into clinical practice - a perspective that also greatly influences how she approaches the field of physiotherapy,

A lot of people view rehab, especially in long-term care, as kind of unnecessary or not worthwhile because they believe residents don’t have the capacity to improve. I’m here to challenge that.

And she is certainly up to the test. As a third-year PhD student, Caitlin has taken a comprehensive approach to her dissertation research that includes an extensive scoping review, an investigation of recent provincial policy changes to rehabilitation funding, and an examination of resident and facility indicators to determine the effectiveness of current rehabilitation programs in long-term care. Caitlin believes that outcomes of rehabilitation can extend far beyond physical functioning, “Residents can have a better quality of life, regain independence, and improve their well-being”.

Inter-professional learning experiences

Caitlin chose the University of Waterloo’s Aging, Health and Well-Being program specifically for its collaborative approach. Having worked on inter-professional teams as a physiotherapist, she wanted those same learning and networking experiences in a doctorate program, “I did Kinesiology in my undergrad and have a good base knowledge in exercise physiology. I was looking for, and found something, different.” The exchange of ideas and expert knowledge amongst faculty and peers is something that Caitlin values most about this program, “…it’s a good back and forth between clinical and research worlds”.