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Esther Williamson

Deputy Director, Centre for Rehabilitation Research in Oxford

I graduated from the University of Queensland as a physiotherapist in 1993 and  completed an MSc in Advancing Practice (Manipulative Therapy) at the University of Birmingham in 2005. I worked as a physiotherapist for 11 years in Australia and the UK, and my most recent clinical post  was as a clinical specialist in an NHS physiotherapy outpatient department specialising in the management of patients with low back pain. I am a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists and the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists. I am also on the committee of the Oxfordshire hub of the Council for Allied Health Professions Research (CAHPR).

In 2004, I took up a research position at the University of Warwick and worked there until 2013. During this time I completed my PhD in Medicine investigating the role of patient held beliefs about injury and recovery in the development of late whiplash syndrome following an acute whiplash injury.

Since 2004, I have worked on large, NIHR funded, randomised controlled trials evaluating the management of musculoskeletal conditions including ankle sprains, whiplash injuries, rheumatoid arthritis and scoliosis. My research interests include the management of spinal conditions and understanding issues related to patient adherence with exercise programmes and their understanding of pain. My current research focuses on the management of back pain in older people and the development of complex interventions for a range of musculoskeletal conditions. I am currently the project lead for the NIHR funded BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older people with Spinal Trouble) programme of research. In addition, I am also working on projects related to the implementation of research findings into practice through the Oxford CLAHRC and I am involved with the development of the physiotherapy intervention for the PROPSER Trial.