MRC/Arthritis Research UK Centre studentship
Promotion of physical activity in middle aged and older adults with lower limb osteoarthritis

Lead Supervisor: Professor Joan Duda

Institute: University of Birmingham, School of Sport Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Funding: This is a 3 year project funded by the MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research ( The project is a cross-institutional collaboration between the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham and will be primarily situated at the University of Birmingham in the School of Sport Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common disease of the joints and is one of the most widespread of all chronic diseases. It is estimated that 15 % of the UK population are affected by joint pain attributed to OA, which can negatively impact on their daily functioning, QOL, and work productivity, is often associated with other co-morbidities, and holds significant public health and economic consequences. OA is a complex disorder with multiple risk factors, including ageing, obesity, genetics and trauma. Recent systematic reviews have indicated that regular light to moderate low impact physical activity (PA) (including exercise to increase muscle strength) is beneficial for people with OA. Existing studies have shown that regular (and appropriate) PA has implications for primary and secondary prevention and, regarding the latter, can reduce pain and fatigue, improve joint mobility, muscle strength, and mood in adults with OA. However, research also demonstrates that adults with lower limb (knee and/or hip) OA are particularly inactive, find adherence to PA difficult and recommendations regarding PA are not currently routinely followed by many clinicians consulting with these patients.

Major health organisations (e.g., ARUK, RF and the CDC in the US) have called for interventions which promote PA and prevent progression of OA-associated structural damage, symptoms, activity limitation, and reduced QOL. The proposed PhD project will provide the necessary pilot work and evidence-base for the development and evaluation (within a RCT) of a psychological/theory-based intervention centred on promoting an active lifestyle in adults with OA (knee and/or hip).

The closing date is Monday 27th January 2014 and Interviews will be held on Thursday 6th February 2014

Full details and How to apply available on FindaPhD