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Research physiotherapist awarded NIHR funding for COPD study

15 October 2016


Sarah Jones, a research physiotherapist at Harefield Hospital, has been awarded a clinical doctoral research fellowship from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 

Sarah Jones, research physiotherapist
Sarah Jones

The fellowship supports allied health professionals to progress in the clinical research environment. Sarah joins her colleague Claire Nolan, who was awarded a fellowship in 2014. They are both undertaking PhDs as part of their fellowships.

Sarah’s project is entitled “Neuromuscular Electrical StimulaTion of the lower limbs: an effective adjunct to pulmonary rehabilitation? (NEST-PR)”. The project will look at the effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), a method of enhancing muscle function, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), when used in addition to pulmonary rehabilitation (an exercise-training and education programme).  

Research has already shown that NMES can improve lower limb muscle strength and exercise capacity. However, there is limited research into its benefits when used alongside pulmonary rehabilitation. Sarah will assess if using the two therapies together leads to clinically relevant improvements to lower limb muscle function, exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with COPD.

Sarah said “I am delighted to have been awarded this fellowship. It’s rewarding to know that non-clinical researchers are being recognised for the expertise they can bring into research.”

To find out more please email us at research-findoutmore@rbht.nhs.uk.

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