• About
  • Research Focus
  • Qualifications
  • Community Engagement

Doctor of Philosophy commenced: 2014

Supervisors: Professor Renuka Visvanathan and Associate Professor Olga Theou

Thesis title:The trajectory of frailty and associated factors and influence on mortality and quality of life in community dwelling older South Australians

Mark Thompson is an occupational therapist with extensive experience in ageing and rehabilitation. He is a managing director of Inspire Therapy, a private allied health and therapy service [mark.thompson@inspiretherapy.com.au]. Mark’s research is focused on the epidemiology of frailty and factors associated with improvement or worsening of frailty status. He also has an interest in evidence informed practice, and Aboriginal healthy ageing. He holds a Master of Public Health, and is currently working towards a Doctor of Philosophy with supervisors  Professor Renuka Visvanathan and Associate Professor Olga Theou (Dalhousie University, Canada). Mark is an investigator with The University of Adelaide’s Centre of Research Excellence: Trans-disciplinary Frailty Research to Achieve Healthy Ageing.

Read a story about Mark’s research “You’re helping our ageing population”  on THRF’s website (also in Edition 3 of their newsletter).


Mark’s current research is focused on frailty in older adults, identification of risk factors, and strategies of reduction of risk.

Current projects include:

  • A Systematic Review exploring the diagnostic test accuracy of self-reported frailty screening instruments amongst community-dwelling older adults.
  • Analysis of longitudinal data from the North West Adelaide Health Study to identify the prevalence of frailty in community dwelling older adults in South Australia and its association with 4 mortality and quality of life.

BAppScOT (University of South Australia)

MPH (University of Adelaide)

Professional Associations

Member OT Australia

November 2018: Mark Thompson was invited to participate in the planning and delivery of a System Wide Health and Wellbeing Strategy Workshop for SA Health. The Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2019-2024 is a State-wide, system-level strategy developed to meet future health challenges, specifically focused on South Australia’s health priorities for the next five years.

A workshop was held on 6 November 2018, at Flinders University, Victoria Square, Adelaide to seek a diverse range of participants’ views about themes, issues and challenges drawn from research evidence. A range of presentations and interviews explored priorities and future strategies to optimise health outcomes for the South Australian community. A diverse group of 136 participants including clinicians, consumers, senior SA Health managers and executive, representatives from the research and education sector, NGO service providers, as well as Government partner agencies from police, energy & mining, environment & water, education and the Auditor General’s department attended the workshop.

Mark interviewed Merle Scarce (photo below), about how the working relationship between health care providers and clients is important in achieving personal health goals. Merle talked about some of the positive aspects of care that she received and some negative aspects of care that could have been improved during her recent admission to hospital following a hip fracture. She highlighted the importance of taking an individual’s wishes and needs into account when delivering health care services, and how treating individuals with dignity, respect, and equal partners in care can have positive impacts on achieving their health goals.

The full video of Mark and Merle’s interview can be seen here.








October 2018: Mark delivered a workshop for support workers from Aboriginal Community Care (ACCSA) at the ACCSA office in Mile End. ACCSA is a non-profit Aboriginal-controlled organisation which provides community based and residential care services to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Elders. The workers who attended this training session deliver support services through Home Care Packages and the Commonwealth Home Support Program. Mark’s workshop focused on the indicators that contribute to frailty, and strategies that can be used to delay or reverse frailty and improve quality of life. Discussion included how some of these actions can be included in routine support services, and the important role that support workers play in identifying changes in function and reporting these back to service coordinators and health professionals. All of the support workers reflected on the services that they currently provide, and how these can contribute to social, emotional, physical, and cultural wellbeing of their clients. Information used in the presentation was drawn from Mark’s frailty research and his clinical experience as an occupational therapist.













May 2016: Presentation to Elizabeth City Centre Weight Watchers: Frailty Identification and Intervention. A community engagement strategy of The Hospital Research Foundation and the BHI.

Read a story about Mark’s research “You’re helping our ageing population”  on THRF’s website (also in Edition 3 of their newsletter).