The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre supports the career development of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals working clinically or in a research capacity for the Oxford NHS Trusts and/or the University of Oxford. Here the 2019 fellowship recipients discuss what this support means to them.
Physiotherapy Department, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
“I am delighted to have been awarded a preparatory fellowship by the Oxford BRC. The funding will enable me to pilot the feasibility of a backwards walking programme for patients following hip or knee replacement.
“Backwards walking may help patients take a protective backwards step to reduce the risk of falls. It is also known to improve muscle strength and balance. This preparatory fellowship is the ideal platform for me to perform a pilot study and further improve my research skills before applying for further research and academic funding.”
Trauma Outpatient Department, John Radcliffe Hospital
“I am delighted to work with the NIHR Oxford BRC to continue my research into the best physiotherapy management of patients after a kneecap dislocation.
“During my preparatory fellowship, I will write up an existing project that assessed the feasibility of implementing an intense exercise intervention for adults after a kneecap dislocation, and complete a systematic review of the lower limb muscle strength outcomes after this injury.
“This preparatory fellowship will also enable me to undertake training in qualitative research methodology and to work with patient partners to support the development of an application to the NIHR Doctoral Fellowship Programme.”
Trauma Physiotherapist, Trauma Unit, John Radcliffe Hospital
“I received my basic and orthopaedic specialty physiotherapy training in India. After being involved in clinical and teaching responsibilities, I pursued an MSc in a Medical Rehab research degree in Canada.
“I currently work as an inpatient Trauma Physiotherapist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. I am grateful for the preparatory fellowship that I have received from the NIHR Oxford BRC.
“This funding will give me protected time to conduct a systematic review on how anxiety and depression affects patients with orthopaedic trauma. The funding will also support patient partnership initiatives and a qualitative research methods course. I will be supervised by researchers at the Physiotherapy Research Unit, headed by Prof Karen Barker.”
Optometrist, Oxford Eye Hospital
“In my current role as a research optometrist I see patients with inherited retinal diseases on gene therapy clinical trials. Clinical trials to prevent these sight-threatening conditions require reliable, sensitive measures of vision, known as endpoints, to indicate their effectiveness.
“One such endpoint is visual acuity, a measure of central vision.Low luminance visual acuity involves measuring central vision in low light. In macular degeneration, this has been shown as a good predictor of subsequent visual acuity loss.
“Currently there is no reported application in inherited retinal diseases and little appears to be known about the visual function the test represents. My research fellowship project involves reviewing and validating this low luminance visual acuity test as a clinical trial endpoint for inherited retinal diseases.”