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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences
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Dr Paul Clarkson PhD, BSc (Hons), BSc (Hons), MCSP

Research Fellow

Dr Paul Clarkson's photo

Dr Paul Clarkson is a Research Fellow in Health Sciences with a background in physiotherapy and in the private sector. Paul is part of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Wessex, Long-Term Conditions (LTC) theme – Innovation and technology for healthy living work stream. He is also a member of the Active Living and Rehabilitation Research Group and a value-added researcher for the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Research Versus Arthritis.

His current work is looking at the maintenance of physical activity behaviour and the potential for digital/non-digital interventions to support people with a LTC to maintain activity into the longer term (Programme lead: Prof Maria Stokes). This includes jointly leading a scoping review with an interdisciplinary group of researchers and clinicians in universities across Wessex and with colleagues at the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.

Current work also includes evaluation of Exercise Referral Schemes and a project looking at the implementation of digital tools for self-management within existing structures and pathways.

Previous work included the NIHR CLAHRC funded CONTAIN Joint Pain study, which aimed to design, develop and test an accessible digital personalised self-management web tool for people with joint pain and link it to the Genie social network activation tool.

Paul's doctoral work was entitled 'An interdisciplinary approach to pressure ulcer prevention in the community setting: Exploring the barriers and facilitators for implementation.' Supervised by Professor Lisette Schoonhoven, Professor Dan Bader, Dr Peter Worsley. Alongside his undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy, he also has a BSc (Hons) in Media Technology from the University of Surrey.

He has published work in the Journal of Physiotherapy, Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare and Rheumatology and presented at international conferences. He has also taught on modules of the pre-registration physiotherapy courses in the school.

Paul has gained experience of using qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches for data collection and analysis. He has also designed and developed both face-to-face and digital healthcare interventions.

Research interests

  • The design and implementation of healthcare interventions linked to behaviour change theory.
  • Facilitating proactive and preventative approaches in healthcare
  • The development and feasibility testing of digital health tools
  • Implementation of digital health into healthcare practice
  • Maintenance of physical activity behaviour

Research projects

  • Design and development of a community networked digital self-management intervention for older people to keep active with joint pain (Contain Joint Pain)
  • Digital and non-digital behaviour change interventions to support the maintenance of physical activity for adults with long-term conditions: mixed methods studies

PhD research: An interdisciplinary approach to pressure ulcer prevention in the community setting: Exploring the barriers and facilitators for implementation.' Supervised by Professor Lisette Schoonhoven, Professor Dan Bader, Dr Peter Worsley.

Research group

Active Living and Rehabilitation

Affiliate research group

Fundamental Care and Safety research group

Research project(s)

Maintenance Of Physical AcTivity BeHaviour (MOTH) programme

The MOTH programme aims to develop digital tools to support people with long-term conditions to maintain physical activity.

MOTH Project 1

This scoping review aims to explore the range of available literature on digital tools to support the maintenance of physical activity for people with LTCs. This review will identify the theoretical underpinnings of these interventions and the experiences, barriers and facilitators of those using them.

MOTH Project 2

This project explores the barriers and facilitators to implementing digital tools for self-management of long-term conditions (LTC) with NHS commissioners, General Practitioners and LTC Specialists. A review of policy recommendations for the implementation of these digital tools is also being undertaken.

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.

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Dr Paul Clarkson
Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 67/3031

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