College of Human and Health Sciences student wins best oral presentation at BLS 2017 Conference

Melanie Thomas, a final year DProf student at Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences has been awarded with the prize for the best oral presentation at this year’s British Lymphology Society conference.

Melanie’s ground breaking research is focused on preventing lymphoedema in people who have been treated for breast cancer. Her prize winning presentation, called “the Impact of the Lymphoedema Risk Reducing Recommendations on People Treated for Breast Cancer and the Knowledge and Views from Lymphoedema Health Care professionals”, reported findings from phase two of her study.

Melanie, who works as the National Clinical Lead for Lymphoedema in Wales alongside her studies, said: “I was absolutely shocked but extremely delighted to win the best oral presentation at the conference. To be presented with this award from my peers was humbling and makes all the hard work worthwhile.

“I am a physiotherapist by background and have been involved in lymphoedema for over twenty years. I have been studying for the Doctorate in Professional Practice since 2012 and am submitting next year. The DProf studies have been instrumental in changing my views on evidence and research processes.  I am now an avid critical reader and am keen to continue researching lymphoedema post doctorate.”

Melanie’s supervisor, Dr Tessa Watts from the College’s Department of Nursing, said: “My sincere congratulations go out to Melanie on receiving this award. I am delighted that she has been recognised for her research at such a prestigious event. Melanie’s work is of utmost importance in terms of its potential impact on the lives of people who have been treated for breast cancer and may be at risk of developing lymphoedema and also transforming current practice amongst healthcare professionals. Melanie is a dedicated physiotherapist whose passion for her work shines through, enabling her to make a real difference to the lives of people of all ages who are affected by this enduring condition.