The Allied Health Research Unit is led by Professor Jim Richards. Its mission is to increase our understanding of allied health practice and improve the quality of life of patients treated by allied health professionals. It pursues these goals by performing basic and applied research, and by developing new techniques in the assessment of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.
The focus is on research across the health care professions to help answer important and clinically relevant research questions. Research spans the innovation pathway; from intervention development, evaluation and implementation. This includes the development and evaluation of the effectiveness of products designed to interact with the body, and the effectiveness of surgical and therapeutic treatments.
These research strands are complemented by a focus on the implementation of the research evidence base in allied health clinical practice. This includes implementation science approaches to promote the systematic uptake of research findings into routine allied health practice to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services and care.
Supporting the work of the Allied Health Research Unit is the Movement Analysis Laboratory which is one of the top facilities of its type currently in use in Europe. The Movement Analysis Laboratory is equipped to conduct: advanced motion analysis, force measurement, pressure measurement, muscle and strength assessment, and thermal imaging.
The AHPRu has active collaborations with many hospitals and clinics in the North West as well as research groups in several countries throughout the world. The AHPRu focuses on inter-professional work. By having an applied inter-professional approach there are direct parallels with the ‘real world’ of allied health work, as it takes place in practice; this facilitates knowledge transfer to the clinical setting.
The applied inter-professional approach has led to a considerable growth in the number of people engaging in research activities both formally and informally, with now over 30 individuals registered for a variety of research degrees. These currently include, Masters by Research (MRes), M.Phil, Medical Doctorate (MD), Professional Doctorate and PhD.
The professions currently engaged in research projects include; occupational therapists, orthotists, osteopaths, physiotherapists, podiatrists, prosthetists, speech and language therapists, sports therapists and surgeons. This mix provides an environment that allows for open discussion of research ideas across the clinical disciplines.
Our current research themes are:
The Cumbria and Lancashire Allied Health Research Network (AHPRN) Hub was established in 2009. This was one of two national pilot sites developed from the National Physiotherapy Research Network (2005). The Cumbria and Lancashire Allied Health Research Network (AHPRN) is supported by the Universities of Central Lancashire (Dr Hazel Roddam, Professor James Selfe, Dr Jessie Janssen, Dr Anne Milston) and Cumbria (Kath Ward, Dr Mark Stigant, Dr Karen Morris) working in collaboration with clinical colleagues (Anne Allison and Tina Robinson, Lancashire Care) and aims to:
The Hub runs free master class events in research skills twice a year, and has a research mentorship bursary open to individuals and clinical teams. These activities are subsidised by national funding secured by the Steering Group and places are open to all AHPs who work or live in the region.
The Allied Health team at UCLan have worked directly with over 40 small, medium and large companies to develop and testing of many new rehabilitation devices and equipment design to improve function since 2006. This work led to several new products making it to market including the ‘Lifft Sling’ which was taken on by Boots in 2011 and the ‘Rehab Angel’ which is now being used in many rehabilitation centres in the UK. In addition the Allied Health research team have been directly involved in prototype development and testing of new knee braces and other conservative managements for DJO Inc., Vista California, USA with the focus being on maximising patient benefits.
We also have strong links testing and conducting research on new muscle assessment equipment with Boston University and DELSYS Inc. (Boston, USA). The underpinning aspect of this work is the use of biomechanical and clinical evidence derived from early “proof of principle” studies and its successful application in the clinical management of musculoskeletal and neurological problems and the support of the development of new devices to reduce pain and improve function.
You can view a selection of publications from the Allied Health Research Unit in our institutional repository.
Dr Jessie Janssen
(The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, USA)
Professor James Selfe
(Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)
Dr Renato Trede
(Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Brazil)
Associate Professor Yongwook Kim
(Jeonju University, Republic of Korea)
Professor Areerat Suputtitada
(Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)
Professor Jefferson Cardoso
Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Brazil
Dr Steven Lindley
Hannah Shore MPhil Biomechanical performance testing of sleep surfaces: Can we create the ideal sleep solution?
Catarina Olim MPhil/PhD Nature of voice disorders amongst contact centre operatives and the potential impact of a preventative intervention
Amina Alhawaj, MPhil/PhD: Biomechanical Considerations in a Novel Design of Lower Limb Rehabilitation device
Dan Baidwar-Kshetri, PhD: Knee pain in young adults in Nepal: an epidemiological study comparing urban and rural populations.
Gina Carey, MPhil/PhD: Should I take disease modifying treatment for my relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis? An investigation of patient reported perceptions of risks, preferences for information, treatment goals and expectations during the decision making process.
Lauren Haworth, MPhil: Can we offer biomechanical support for larger breasted women with back pain?
Chukwuemeka Ibeachu, PhD: Epidemiology of lower limb dysfunction in adolescents
John Kiely, Prof Doc: Factors influencing coordinated control of human running
Wolfgang Lackenbauer, MPhil/PhD: Clinical decision-making in Austrian physiotherapy undergraduate students.
Andreas Liefeith, PhD: The role of general motor ability in sport performance
Bruno Mazuquin, PhD: Does early mobilisation after surgical repair of large rotator cuff tears improve biomechanical and clinical outcomes?
Maria Moffatt, PhD Direct: Pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain: exploring the use of social media for preventative healthcare advice
Sam Pywell PhD: Discourse in the management of anxiety in palliative care: impact on clinical practice and outcomes from exploration of Occupational Therapists’ perspectives
Gillian Rawlinson, MPhil/PhD: An exploration of the mechanisms for behaviour change (COM-B model) within musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy practice.
Heather Stewart MPhil/PhD: The use of portfolios in supporting Continuing Professional Development and employability for physiotherapists
Melissa Sutcliffe, MPhil/PhD: The use of springs in sports footwear, the next big thing or reinventing the wheel?
Taylor A, PhD: Exploring the Association of Childhood/Adolescent Knee pain with Later Onset of Patellofemoral Osteoarthritis (University of Southampton)
Sue Tobin, MPhil/PhD: Investigating the manipulation of the vasti muscles in patellofemoral pain.
Caroline Waterworth, PhD: The Care Aims Approach and Integrated Team Working
Jenni Wilson, Prof Doc: Title TBC.
Andy Wright, MSc (Res): Does stabilization surgery following the first episode of traumatic anterior dislocation influence shoulder kinematics?
2018 Tariq Kwaees, MSc (Res): Exploring the Effects of a Nonmechanical Knee Brace on Lower Limb Kinematics & Kinetics in Healthy Individuals & its Implications for Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee
2017 Berj Kishmishian, PhD: The effects of acupuncture and sham acupuncture to the Achilles tendon in Achilles tendinopathy
2017 Lindsay St. George, PhD Electromyographic evaluation of muscle firing patterns in the ridden horse during jumping as an objective method of informing current jump training programmes
2016 Susan Giblin, PhD: Enhancing participation and performance in physical activity through primary level physical education- The role of physical literacy. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.
2016 Hayley Vincent, MSc Res: Kinetic and 3D Kinematic analysis of netball movements: with and without prophylactic knee bracing
2015 Steven Lindley, PhD: Neuromuscular and Mechanical Control of the Knee Joint with Patellofemoral Pain
2014 Jenny Stockdale, Prof Doc: Exercise behaviour in ankylosing spondylitis patients on anti-TNF
2014 Erin Morehead, Prof Doc: The Development of a Functional Movement Screening Tool for Football
2013 Howie Carson, PhD: Working inside the black box: Refinement of pre-existing skills
2013 Rob Bailey, PhD: The Role of Clinical Lumbo-Pelvic and Hip Tests in the Examination of Gait
2013 Arlene McCurtin PhD: Deconstructing clinical practice and searching for scientific foundations: Examining decision-making scaffolds underpinning intervention choices by speech and language therapists.
2013 Karen McLean MRes: Exploring the physiotherapeutic needs of breast cancer patients: A qualitative study of patient experience. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.
2012 Jill Alexander, MPhil: Influence of Athletic Spinal Taping on Equine Rider Posture
2012 Sian Parry-Weeks MPhil: Functional benefits of lycra suits in the management of Cerebral Palsy.
2012 Karen Copeland, MSc: Biomechanical testing of a pelvic seating wedge in people with and without lower back pain
2011 Ma Sha, PhD: Upper limb tasks in virtual reality
|Australia||University of South Australia||Division of Health Sciences|
|Australia||University of Melbourne||Speech & Language Therapy|
|Brazil||Universidade Estadual de Londrina||PAIFIT Research Group|
|Canada||Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario||Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering|
|China||University of Hong Kong||Institute of Human Performance|
|Finland||Jyväskylä University||Jyväskylän Naisvoimistelijat|
|Finland||Satakunta University of Applied Sciences||Faculty of Social and Healthcare|
|Malta||Malta University||Speech & Language Therapy|
|Netherlands||University of Groningen||Speech & Language Therapy|
|New Zealand||AUT University||Health Sciences|
|Norway||University of Oslo||Logopedics|
|Oman||University of Nizwa||School of Education|
|Republic of Ireland||University of Limerick||Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences|
|Republic of Ireland||University of Limerick||Health Sciences|
|Slovakia||Univerzita Komenského, Bratislava||Speech & Language Therapy|
|Slovakia||Comenius University, Bratislava||Logopedics|
|UK||University of Keele||Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre|
|UK||University of Southampton||School of Health Sciences|
|UK||Manchester Metropolitan University||Institute for Biomedical Research into Human Movement and Health|
|UK||Staffordshire University||Faculty of Health|
|UK||Teesside University||Health and Social Care Institute|
|UK||Salford University||School of Health, Sport & Rehabilitation Sciences|
|UK||University of Hull||Faculty of Science Sport, Health and Exercise Science|
|UK||Liverpool John Moores University||School of Sport and Exercise Sciences|
|UK||University of Manchester||Human Communications Sciences|
|USA||Boston University||NeuroMuscular Research Center|
|USA||The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga||Physical Therapy|
|USA||University of Pittsburgh||Speech & Language Therapy|
NHS Trusts / Clinical Staff Links
|NHS TRUSTS / CLINICAL STAFF||TOPIC|
|Central Lancashire PCT||Research Interest Club for AHPs|
|Central Lancashire||Service evaluations|
|Royal Preston Hospital||Orthopaedics|
|C&L AHP Research Hub||Regional clinicians’ group|
|C&L AHP Research Network||SHA-led Regional group|
|NPRN||Nat Physio research network|
|SLT Paediatric Research group||Regional research group|
|Manchester Victoria||Speech & language therapy|
|Northumbria||Speech & language therapy|
Professional Bodies Links
|RCSLT||Hazel Roddam||Deputy Chair of Council
|RCSLT||Hazel Roddam||Chair of Council 2010-12|
|CPLOL||Hazel Roddam||UK rep on EU SLT Board|
|James Leckey Design Ltd||UK||Product manual|
|MDTi||UK||Rehab product developments|
For further information about the Allied Health Research Unit, please contact:
Professor Jim Richards
School of Health Sciences
Brook Building, Room BB118
University of Central Lancashire
Tel: +44 (0) 1772 89 4575