Dr Isobel Hubbard


School of Medicine and Public Health (Public Health)

Career Summary


Isobel is an academic researcher in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She convenes the Master of Health Science and has sole responsibility for the post-graduate, stroke-specific courses. Her primary research is investigating the association between upper limb recovery and brain activation patterns in the first month post-stroke. She is also involved in research investigating return-to-driving post-stroke; the incidence, prevalence and lived experiences of stroke in older Australian women and early upper limb intervention and assessment post-stroke.

Isobel has published in peer reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences. Her aim is to champion a multi-professional and evidence-based approach in the healthcare we prescribe and apply to people at risk of, recovering from and/or living with, stroke. She is a registered Occupational Therapist.

Research Expertise
Upper limb stroke recovery, brain activation patterns and neuroplasticity.

Teaching Expertise
Design of inter professional courses and program Stroke Education - postgraduate and undergraduate Occupational Therapy

Administrative Expertise
Setting up of on-line courses in blackboard On-line, inter professional courses in health related issues


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Diploma of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy), Cumberland College of Health Sciences
  • Master of Occupational Therapy, University of South Australia


  • Acute Stroke
  • Flexible delivery
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Health
  • Interprofessional
  • Interprofessional practice
  • Postgraduate
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Stroke management
  • Upper limb therapy

Fields of Research

111799Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified20
110399Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified80

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2015 - 31/12/2017LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
5/05/2014 - 11/07/2014Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
27/02/2012 - 30/06/2012Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
18/02/2008 - 27/06/2008Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Health Sciences
1/01/2005 - 6/03/2005Associate LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Health Sciences

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
Peer Reviewer - Australian Occupational Therapy JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
1/07/2005 - Allied Health Researcher - Health ManagerHunter New England Health
Acute Stroke Research Unit, Neurology, John Hunter Hospital
1/01/2001 - 1/01/2004Associate Lecturer
Occupational Therapy
University of Newcastle
School of Health Sciences


DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
Committee Member - National Stroke Foundation, Post-Acute Stroke Audit - National Advisory BodyNational Stroke Foundation
Stroke Coordinating Committee - Stroke Services NSWStroke Services NSW
Stroke Nursing and Allied Health Education and Professional Development Sub-committee MemberStroke Services NSW
Member - Australian Occupational Therapy AssociationAustralian Occupational Therapy Association


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Chapter (1 outputs)

2012Stinear C, Hubbard IJ, 'Movement', Stroke Rehabilitation: Insights from Neuroscience and Imaging, Oxford University Press, Oxford 143-153 (2012) [B1]

Journal article (14 outputs)

2015Byles JE, Francis JL, Chojenta CL, Hubbard IJ, 'Long-term Survival of Older Australian Women with a History of Stroke', JOURNAL OF STROKE & CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES, 24 53-60 (2015)
DOI10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2014.07.040Author URL
Co-authorsCatherine Chojenta, Julie Byles
2015Hubbard IJ, Carey LM, Budd TW, Parsons MW, 'Reorganizing therapy: changing the clinical approach to upper limb recovery post-stroke.', Occup Ther Int, 22 28-35 (2015)
DOI10.1002/oti.1381Author URL
Co-authorsMark Parsons, Bill Budd
2015Tavener M, Thijsen A, Hubbard IJ, Francis JL, Grennall C, Levi C, Byles J, 'Acknowledging How Older Australian Women Experience Life After Stroke: How Does the WHO 18-Item Brief ICF Core Set for Stroke Compare?', Health Care Women Int, 0 (2015)
DOI10.1080/07399332.2015.1055747Author URL
Co-authorsJulie Byles
2014Hubbard IJ, Carey LM, Budd TW, Levi C, McElduff P, Hudson S, et al., 'A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effect of Early Upper-Limb Training on Stroke Recovery and Brain Activation.', Neurorehabil Neural Repair, (2014)
DOI10.1177/1545968314562647Author URL
Co-authorsMark Parsons, Bill Budd
2014Hubbard IJ, Evans M, McMullen-Roach S, Marquez J, Parsons MW, 'Five years of acute stroke unit care: Comparing ASU and non-ASU admissions and allied health involvement', Stroke Research and Treatment, (2014) [C1]

Background. Evidence indicates that Stroke Units decrease mortality and morbidity. An Acute Stroke Unit (ASU) provides specialised, hyperacute care and thrombolysis. John Hunter Hospital, Australia, admits 500 stroke patients each year and has a 4-bed ASU. Aims. This study investigated hospital admissions over a 5-year period of all strokes patients and of all patients admitted to the 4-bed ASU and the involvement of allied health professionals. Methods. The study retrospectively audited 5-year data from all stroke patients admitted to John Hunter Hospital (n=2525) and from nonstroke patients admitted to the ASU (n=826). The study's primary outcomes were admission rates, length of stay (days), and allied health involvement. Results. Over 5 years, 47% of stroke patients were admitted to the ASU. More male stroke patients were admitted to the ASU (chi2=5.81; P=0.016). There was a trend over time towards parity between the number of stroke and nonstroke patients admitted to the ASU. When compared to those admitted elsewhere, ASU stroke patients had a longer length of stay (z=-8.233; P=0.0000) and were more likely to receive allied healthcare. Conclusion. This is the first study to report 5 years of ASU admissions. Acute Stroke Units may benefit from a review of the healthcare provided to all stroke patients. The trends over time with respect to the utilisation of the John Hunter Hospitall's ASU have resulted in a review of the hospitall's Stroke Unit and allied healthcare. © 2014 Isobel J. Hubbard et al.

Co-authorsJodie Marquez, Mark Parsons
2014Byles J, Francis LJ, Chojenta CL, Hubbard I, 'Long-term survival of older Australian women with a history of stroke', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE, 9 20-20 (2014)
Author URL
Co-authorsJulie Byles, Catherine Chojenta
2013Kitsos GH, Hubbard IJ, Kitsos AR, Parsons MW, 'The Ipsilesional Upper Limb Can Be Affected following Stroke', SCIENTIFIC WORLD JOURNAL, (2013) [C1]
DOI10.1155/2013/684860Author URL
Co-authorsMark Parsons
2012Hubbard IJ, Harris D, Kilkenny MF, Faux SG, Pollack MR, Cadilhac DA, 'Adherence to clinical guidelines improves patient outcomes in Australian audit of stroke rehabilitation practice', Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93 965-971 (2012) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 16Web of Science - 10
2011Kitsos G, Harris D, Pollack M, Hubbard IJ, 'Assessments in Australian stroke rehabilitation units: A systematic review of the post-stroke validity of the most frequently used', Disability and Rehabilitation, 33 2620-2632 (2011) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 5Web of Science - 6
2010Pickering RL, Hubbard IJ, Baker KG, Parsons MW, 'Assessment of the upper limb in acute stroke: The validity of hierarchal scoring for the Motor Assessment Scale', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 57 174-182 (2010) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 4Web of Science - 3
Co-authorsMark Parsons
2009Hubbard IJ, Vyslysel G, Parsons MW, 'Interprofessional, practice-driven research: Reflections of one 'community of inquiry' based in acute stroke', Journal of Allied Health, 38 E69-E74 (2009) [C1]
Co-authorsMark Parsons
2009Hubbard IJ, Parsons MW, Neilson C, Carey LM, 'Task-specific training: Evidence for and translation to clinical practice', Occupational Therapy International, 16 175-189 (2009) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 58Web of Science - 47
Co-authorsMark Parsons
2007Hubbard IJ, Parsons MW, 'The conventional care of therapists as acute stroke specialists: A case study', International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 14 357-362 (2007) [C1]
Co-authorsMark Parsons
2006Hubbard IJ, 'Stroke: The silent Cinderella!', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 53 337-340 (2006) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 1
Show 11 more journal articles

Conference (15 outputs)

2014Kitsos GH, Hubbard I, Kitsos AR, Parsons M, '2Up: A longitudinal study of upper limb recovery', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE (2014) [E3]
Author URL
Co-authorsMark Parsons
2013James C, Frith J, Warren-Forward H, Hubbard I, 'Driving after Stroke: Knowledge and use of legislation and guidelines by Australian Health Practitioners', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal,, Adelaide (2013) [E3]
Co-authorsCarole James, Helen Warren-Forward
2013James CL, Frith JLT, Warren-Forward H, Hubbard IJ, 'Return to driving post stroke: What should be happening and who should be doing it?', International Journal of Stroke, Adelaide (2013) [E3]
Co-authorsHelen Warren-Forward, Carole James
2013Kitsos G, Hubbard IJ, Kitsos A, Parsons MW, 'Non-affected or less affected: What is the ipsilesional upper limb following stroke? A systematic literature review', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE (2013) [E3]
Author URL
Co-authorsMark Parsons
2012Hubbard IJ, Carey LM, Budd TW, Parsons MW, 'An RCT of differing intensities of early upper limb training post stroke: Evidence of neuroplastic changes in the ipsilesional SMA', Congress Handbook. 7th World Congress for Neurorehabilitation, Melbourne, VIC (2012) [E3]
Co-authorsBill Budd, Mark Parsons
2012Frith J, Hubbard IJ, James CL, Warren-Forward H, 'Returning to driving after stroke: A systematic review investigating adherence to legislation and guidelines', International Journal of Stroke, Darling Harbour, Sydney (2012) [E3]
Co-authorsCarole James, Helen Warren-Forward
2012Hubbard IJ, Carey L, Budd TW, Parsons MW, 'Brain activation and upper limb recovery post stroke: A systematic literature review', International Journal of Stroke, Darling Harbour, Sydney (2012) [E3]
CitationsWeb of Science - 1
Co-authorsBill Budd, Mark Parsons
2011Hubbard IJ, Harris D, Kilkenny MF, Faux SG, Pollack MR, Cadilhac DA, 'Australian clinical practice of inpatient stroke rehabilitation and its relationship to patient outcomes', International Journal of Stroke, Adelaide, SA (2011) [E3]
2011Frith JLT, Hubbard IJ, Parsons MW, Vyslysel G, Burgman I, James CL, 'Shifting Gears: Resuming driving after stroke', Proceedings of the 24th Occupational Therapy Australia National Conference, Gold Coast, QLD (2011) [E3]
Co-authorsMark Parsons, Carole James
2010Hubbard IJ, Parsons MW, Carey LM, 'Translating task-specific, upper limb evidence into stroke recovery intervention and clinical practice', Cerebrovascular Diseases: European Stroke Conference, Barcelona, Spain (2010) [E3]
Co-authorsMark Parsons
2010Hubbard IJ, Budd TW, Carey LM, McElduff P, Levi CR, Parsons MW, 'Intensive behavioural upper limb training in acute stroke: an RCT of functional outcomes and brain reorganisation', Cerebrovascular Diseases: European Stroke Conference, Barcelona, Spain (2010) [E3]
Co-authorsBill Budd, Chris Levi, Mark Parsons
2008Budd TW, Parsons MW, Hubbard IJ, Carey L, Levi CR, 'A longitudinal fMRI study of cortical sensorimotor reorganization in stroke recovery', NeuroImage, Melbourne, VIC (2008) [E3]
Co-authorsMark Parsons, Bill Budd, Chris Levi
2008Hubbard IJ, Budd TW, Parsons MW, 'Arm function, fMRI and early reorganisation mapping in stroke (AFfERMS): Findings from the pilot phase', Internal Medicine Journal, Sydney, NSW (2008) [E3]
Co-authorsMark Parsons, Bill Budd
2008Hubbard IJ, Carey L, Parsons MW, 'The evidence concerning task-specific therapy for upper limb function: A literature review', Internal Medicine Journal, Sydney, NSW (2008) [E3]
Co-authorsMark Parsons
2006James CL, Hubbard IJ, 'Inter-professional practice development: A challenge in knowledge transfer', ANZAME: Setting the Standards of Medical Education: Conference Proceedings: Abstracts & Program, Newcastle, NSW (2006) [E3]
Co-authorsCarole James
Show 12 more conferences

Grants and Funding


Number of grants3
Total funding$188,282

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20111 grants / $23,980

Using functional MRI, this project explores brain activation patterns and upper limb recovery in stroke survivors$23,980

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Isobel Hubbard
SchemeEquity Research Fellowship
Funding Start2011
Funding Finish2011
Type Of FundingInternal

20091 grants / $41,828

A functional MRI study of upper limb therapy in community dwelling stroke survivors$41,828

Funding body: National Stroke Foundation

Funding bodyNational Stroke Foundation
Project TeamProfessor Mark Parsons, Dr Leeanne Carey, Doctor Isobel Hubbard
SchemeResearch Grant
Funding Start2009
Funding Finish2009
Type Of FundingGrant - Aust Non Government

20061 grants / $122,474

A functional MRI study of upper limb therapy in acute stroke$122,474

Funding body: National Heart Foundation of Australia

Funding bodyNational Heart Foundation of Australia
Project TeamProfessor Mark Parsons, Doctor Bill Budd, Conjoint Professor Chris Levi, Doctor Isobel Hubbard
Funding Start2006
Funding Finish2006
Type Of FundingAust Competitive - Non Commonwealth

Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2014Shifting Gears: Returning to Driving After Stroke
Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Dr Isobel Hubbard


Convener of the Master of Health Science program; Coordinator of the Stroke Management Specialisation
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Public Health

Contact Details

Phone(02) 40420533


RoomDesk 18; Level 4; HMRI Building, Rankin Park Campus
BuildingHMRI Building Rankin Park Campus
LocationDesk 18; Level 4; HMRI Building; Rankin Park Campus