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MSc Rehabilitation Research grad using dietitian background to research nutritional challenges for older adults with dementia living in long‑term care homes

Posted by Dal Health Communications on October 13, 2023 in School of Physiotherapy, News, Students
Niousha Alizadehsaravi plans to further her research with a PhD.
Niousha Alizadehsaravi plans to further her research with a PhD.

Congratulations to the Dal Health Class of 2023! To celebrate Fall Convocation, we chatted with students from across Dal Health. Niousha Alizadehsaravi is graduating with a MSc in Rehabilitation Research.

Convation Q&A: Niousha Alizadehsaravi

  • Pronouns: she/her
  • Degree: MSc in Rehabilitation Research
  • Where you’re from: Iran

How significant is it for you to receive this degree?

Receiving a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Research holds great significance for me in various ways. As a registered dietitian, this program allowed me to tailor my research to my specific interest, which involves working with older adults with dementia, specifically those living in long-term care homes, to meet their nutritional needs and improve quality of life. Through this multidisciplinary program, I've had the opportunity to meet and work with many healthcare professionals and student working on various research projects which expanded my knowledge.

What were the highlights of your degree?

The highlights of my degree include the opportunity it provided to enhance my research capabilities and make meaningful contributions to the field of rehabilitation research, ultimately aiming to enhance patient care. Crafting my thesis, although challenging, proved to be an incredibly rewarding experience as it allowed me to concentrate on my specific research interests and cultivate essential critical thinking skills. In general, I think that pursuing an advanced degree has been a journey of personal growth and self-discovery, as it challenged me to stretch my intellectual boundaries, manage my time effectively, and develop resilience.

What will you miss about your time at Dal and this program?

Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 during the first year of my degree, I still had the opportunity to participate in numerous events and networking activities organized by Dalhousie for graduate students. What I will miss most about my time at Dal and in this program is the sense of community and the vibrant campus life that I was able to experience. These interactions and events enriched my academic journey and provided valuable connections that enhanced my overall educational experience.  

What topics/research/work did you become passionate about during your education?

As I mentioned before, this program has allowed me to use my knowledge in nutrition and tailor my thesis, which involves working with older adults with dementia living in long-term care homes. I became increasingly passionate about understanding the unique nutritional challenges faced by this population. I also developed a deep appreciation for the interdisciplinary nature of rehabilitation research, recognizing the value of collaboration with healthcare professionals in addressing the multifaceted needs of older adults with dementia.

What’s next for you?

I'm motivated to continue my education journey and pursue a Ph.D. degree at the University of Waterloo, focusing on the same field of research. My goal is to make a meaningful contribution to the field of rehabilitation research and have a positive impact on the quality of life of older adults. This next step in my academic path will provide me with the opportunity to work towards innovative solutions that can enhance the well-being of this population.