Dr. Paula van Wyk

Dr. Paula van Wyk

Assistant Professor

 Paula Email:  pvanwyk@uwindsor.ca
Phone: 519-253-3000 ext 4287
Office: HK 137


BHSc (Hons) - Western University
MHK - University of Windsor
Ph.D. - Western University

Post doc - Toronto Rehab Institute, University Health Network


Aging, we all do it. You are aging as you read this profile. Aging is not a synonym for BEING old, however. It is a process. We all age differently, but we only get to do it once. We do not get a practice run. In Canada, and in many other countries, there is a trend towards there being a larger number of older adults. With this demographic shift there are new opportunities and new challenges we will be exposed to. Dr. van Wyk’s research interests include person-environment fit required to enable an older adult to remain living at home, cognitive reserve, increasing the quality of life among the increased quantity of life, caregiver burden, education in geriatrics, and rehabilitation interventions.
Older adults are essentially a “special population”. Dr. van Wyk also has research interests focused on improving the quality of care, quality of life and enabling physical abilities of individuals who may be considered a “special population”. In addition to older adults, this includes individuals with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s and an Autism Spectrum Disorder, to name a few.

Dr. van Wyk first became interested in kinesiology, how the body works, and injury prevention when she was younger. Dr. van Wyk was extensively involved in dance and a variety of sports. Thus, she wanted to understand how to fully optimize her abilities and avoid injuries. These interests expanded to how to minimize injuries among healthcare workers (nurses, personal support workers) and the patients they care for. Specifically, Dr. van Wyk has a passion for research related to transfers (bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to toilet, in and out of a motorized vehicle).


Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN) 2013 Knowledge Synthesis Grant

Scholarly Activities:

van Wyk, P.M., Chu, C., Babineau, J., Puts, M., Brooks, D., Saragosa, M., & McGilton, K. Post-discharge interventions for older adults with cognitive impairment following a hip fracture: A Systematic Review Protocol. Submitted to: JMIR Research Protocols

van Wyk, P.M., Stewart, S., & McGilton, K.S. The effects of a person-centred rehabilitation model of care targeting older adults with cognitive impairment on healthcare practitioners. Submitted to: Advances in Aging Research

van Wyk, P.M., Weir, P.L., & Andews, D.M. Manual patient transfers used most often by nurses are consistent with their perceptions of transfer training, and performance confidence. Accepted: Work

van Wyk., P.M., & Salmoni, A. (2013). Using photovoice to identify patient transfers risk factors in a participatory ergonomics approach to reducing healthcare workers risk of injury in long-term care. International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2, 49-65.

Fiedler, K.M., Weir, P.L., van Wyk, P.M., & Andrews, D.M. (2012). Analyzing what nurses do during work in a hospital setting: A feasibility study using video. Work, 43, 515-523.

DeForge, R., van Wyk, P., Hall, J., & Salmoni, A. (2011 – Dec). Afraid to care; unable to care: A critical ethnography within a long-term care home. Journal of Aging Studies, 25, 415-426.

Weir, P.L., Andrews, D.M., van Wyk, P.M., & Callaghan, J.P. (2011 – Feb). The influence of training on decision times and errors associated with classifying trunk postures using video-based posture assessment methods. Ergonomics, 54(2), 197-205.