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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Dr Dorit Kunkel PhD

Senior Research Fellow/Lecturer, Senior Research Adviser for the RDS

Dr Dorit Kunkel's photo

Dorit is a physiotherapist by background with a specialty in neurological rehabilitation and 18 years’ experience in managing mixed methods research studies and trials.

We all know it is important to stay active. My recent research has shown that sustained exercise attendance is more likely if exercise is one component of an enjoyable social activity because “Having fun, makes it less obvious that it's an exercise!”

In 1997 Dorit started her MSc part-time and then progressed to a PhD. In this research she explored specific fall-related factors, examined issues surrounding balance and attention using exploratory studies and an experimental design. Dorit successfully completed her PhD in 2002. Her PhD research work led to a funded study on predicting people who are at risk of falls following a stroke.

In 2004 Dorit was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow on the Stroke Association Rehabilitation Research programme grant which explored recovery and rehabilitation following a stroke.

In recent years, she was the Principal Investigator on:

In November 2017 Dorit joined the Research Design Service South Central team as a Senior Research Adviser.
She contributes to the teaching of neuro physiotherapy and research skills at undergraduate and postgraduate level and received a vice chancellor teaching award in recognition of her contribution to teaching through innovation and using technology in 2018.

Her current research is focused on exploring novel interventions to promote independence, activity and stability, with the overarching goal of improving the quality of life in people with Parkinson’s, stroke and other long term conditions. Her main methodological interests are to find practical, pragmatic and sustainable solutions when designing and evaluation complex health care interventions.

Research interests

Staying active, aging well, neuro-rehabilitation, fall prevention, prehabilitation.

Currently supervising 4 PhD students.

Research projects

Recently joined the team to support work on the Optim-Park project.

Affiliated research groups

Health Work: Long term conditions and Member of the Long Term Conditions research programme part of the Wessex Applied Research Collaboration.

Research group

Active Living and Rehabilitation

Research project(s)

MOTH Project 3

Exercise referral schemes (ERS) provide group-based activity for people with a health condition or at risk of developing a condition. This project uses a protocol developed by the MOTH Programme to evaluate such schemes.

Chair of the FELS Special Consideration Board.

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Dorit is the neuro stream lead for the MCC module, supports teaching on other modules, is a personal academic tutor, MSc research supervisor and supports admission interviewing and open days.

Dr Dorit Kunkel
University of Southampton Health Sciences Building 45 Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: SGH/CE113/MP886

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