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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Dr Debbie T Thackray Ed D, MSc, BSc, MCSP, SRP

Lecturer in Physiotherapy

Dr Debbie T Thackray's photo

Dr Debbie Thackray works as a Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the University of Southampton being responsible for cardiorespiratory for both the BSc and MSc modules. She is the the educational lead for the National Physiotherapy Respiratory Leaders’ forum and through this committee works closely with the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care ACPRC and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy CSP on clinical practice. Debbie is committed to supporting and developing therapists for the future, using simulation based learning and believes it can lead to improved patient outcomes and represents the AHP’s nationally as a simulation development officer for the Association of Simulated Practice in Healthcare ASPiH.

Clinical reasoning is a complex interplay between knowledge and understanding, cognitive and psychomotor skills, communication and reflection. I believe that Simulation based learning can facilitate the development of clinical reasoning in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy.


Before becoming a lecturer in physiotherapy, I worked clinically as a respiratory physiotherapist. I undertook my master’s degree in musculoskeletal physiotherapy and became interested in clinical reasoning as a concept that is fundamental to the development of expertise. I developed my interest further in this area whilst studying for my Educational Doctorate by undertaking a study that explored the clinical reasoning of respiratory physiotherapists using a simulated environment to observe staff as they assessed and treated a simulated patient in a high dependency unit. From this study, I developed a new conceptual model of clinical reasoning for cardiorespiratory physiotherapy.

I have a special interest in developing simulation based education within the undergraduate curriculum and for post-graduate continuing professional development. I currently hold a Higher Education Innovation Fund which has enabled me to develop and implement a simulation based educational programme for training post-graduate physiotherapists for their on-call duties in collaboration with staff from the North Hampshire Hospital Trust.


Research interests

Educational research, clinical reasoning, simulated practice

Research Projects

An investigation into the clinical reasoning in cardiorespiratory physiotherapists using a simulated patient and a simulated environment.

This study was awarded a grant from the Physiotherapy Research Fund

Research group

Active Living and Rehabilitation

Cardiorespiratory stream lead for physiotherapy for both BSc and MSc programmes.

Module lead for Clinical management and the Transition module.

Contribute to other modules on the physiotherapy and nursing programmes.

Areas of expertise: education; clinical reasoning; simulation; cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal physiotherapy

Dr Debbie T Thackray
Health Sciences Student Office University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 67/3033

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