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Strength training in pulmonary rehabilitation

About This PhD Project

Project Description

• Basic Funding details: Full time Home/EU fees and a stipend of £15,009 p.a.
• Application deadline: Tuesday 7th May 2019
• Start date: October 2019
• Duration: 3 years full-time
• Location: Colchester campus
• Lead Department: Sport Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (SRES)
• Connected Department: Health and Social Care (HSC)

A brief Overview of the Studentship:

The project aims to explore the clinical application of strength assessment and training in pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) settings in the UK. Whilst current guidelines (Bolton et al., 2013) suggest strength assessment and progressive strength training should be included in a PR programme, a national 2017 audit by Steiner et al. (2018) showed that only 27% of services are actually assessing strength, up from 15% in 2015. Without a reliable strength assessment measure, it is difficult to establish the effectiveness of the strength training undertaken within PR services. It is anticipated the project will involve both quantitative and qualitative research approaches.


1) A review of the literature surrounding strength assessment and training in patients eligible for PR services will be undertaken.
2) A focus group with PR lead clinicians in East of England will be held to understand barriers and facilitators to strength training and assessment from the service provision perspective.
3) Utilising findings from the research evidence and service providers a randomised controlled trial (RTC) applying strength assessment interventions to a local PR service will be undertaken.
4) Alongside this an exploration of the patient’s perspective, through interviews and questionnaires will be undertaken to establish perceptions and variables that impact on patient’s strength assessment, training, function and quality of life following the intervention.


We are looking for an enthusiastic person with a good undergraduate and/or master’s degree in a related subject. You must possess well-developed oral and written communication skills, interpersonal skills and be able to manage your time effectively.

Primary Supervisors: Dr Ben Jones
Ben is an exercise physiologist and course lead for Sports Performance and Coaching (BSc).

Co-Supervisors: Izzie Easton and Dr Leanne Andrews
Izzie is a registered physiotherapist with a number of years in clinical practise, specialising in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy and is currently subject lead for physiotherapy (BSc & MSc).

Leanne is a Health Psychologist with interest in the overlap between physical and psychological wellbeing.

Applicants are required to provide:
• a research proposal (500words),
• detailed CV,
• personal statement (outlining their interest in this research project and why they are best suited to carry out the work),
• transcripts of any undergraduate or masters programmes MUST be included.

For more information and details on how to apply please follow this link

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