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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Research Group: Active Living and Rehabilitation

Currently Active: 

Our research is into the development, validation and evaluation of rehabilitation and health technologies. Through clinical trials, collaboration with the commercial sector and close interaction with healthcare providers, we aim to translate cost-effective technologies into clinical practice.

The work of the group is therefore interdisciplinary spanning: clinical science, neuroscience and biomechanical research; sensor, control, and signal processing engineering and behavioural and health psychology. Development and clinical evaluation of technologies is user driven with engagement of those involved in their use throughout the process. An important component of our work is research into the physiological and biomechanical mechanisms associated with normal and impaired function and recovery. This more fundamental research is applied to both the development and the evaluation of technologies. Within the Research Group there are three Programmes comprising six project clusters as illustrated below.


Human Movement

The ability to use the arm and hand is fundamental to human behaviour in everyday life, work, recreation and communication. The hand occupies a disproportionately large area of both the sensory and motor cortices reflecting the fine control required to perform movements that healthy people take for granted. Arm and hand function can be impaired due to disease or injury to either the musculoskeletal or the nervous system and our research extends across both.

Respiratory System

Our main research objectives within this programme are to establish a sound evidence base for therapeutic interventions, and to promote best practice in the diagnosis, care and management of people with primary respiratory disorders (such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and COPD), and any other conditions in which the respiratory system may be affected.  

Continence Technology and Skin Health

The group focuses on two clinical conditions, namely bladder and bowel control, and pressure ulcers, both of which can be highly detrimental to the quality of life of the individual and constitute a major burden on their carers and the finances of the Health Service. Our goal is to develop novel technologies to improve the quality of life of people with these disabling conditions.

Associated research themes





Assessment Rehabilitation and Movement (ARM)


Continence Technology and Skin Health





Our Research

Our research is built on experimental research into the physiological, biomechanical, performance and behavioural mechanisms associated with dysfunction and recovery; Research into user experience adherence and motivation and clinical research into the development and evaluation of current and new treatments and translation into clinical practice.

Key Publications

List of related projects to Active Living and Rehabilitation
Related ProjectsStatus
Optimized athlete body sensor networks for simulation-based performance analysisActive
Iterative learning Control for re-education of upper limb function mediated by electrical stimulation (ES) and Restoration of Reach and Grasp in Stroke Patients using ES and Haptic FeedbackActive
Objective Measurements of Clinical Tests of Dissociation of the Scapula using Motion AnalysisActive
Research career development internships for podiatrists: an outline proposal for developing AHP research and researchers in rheumatology and musculoskeletal rehabilitation.Active
A systematic Exploration of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation in Spinal Cord Injury: Stage 2, An International Questionnaire Study, INSPIREActive
A trial of devices for intractable urinary incontinence following prostate cancer surgeryActive
Patient perspectives in COPD: activities, social participation and pulmonary rehabilitationActive
Adventitious lung sounds as indicators of severity and recovery of lung pathology and sputum locationActive
Assessing muscle tone in patients with neurological conditions Active
Assessing the performance of knee athroplasty using clinical testing, motion analysis, electromyography (EMG) and musculoskeletal modelling - completedActive
BREATHE (Breathing Retraining for Asthma Trial of Home Exercise)Active
Clinical and bioengineering investigation into the predictors & effectiveness of proximal interphalangeal joint surgery for patient with hand arthritisActive
The clinical importance of forefoot bursitis in patients with rheumatoid arthritisActive
Clinical utility of ultrasound imaging in the management of low back pain - completedActive
COASt (foot): Clinical outcomes in knee arthroplasty and biomechanical foot and ankle assessment Active
Combining transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with robotic hand training for the severely impaired hand after strokeActive
Computerised lung sound analysis in healthy people and patients with COPD Active
Computerised lung sound analysis to monitor postoperative pulmonary complications in patients with cardiac surgeryActive
Eye, head and body coordination during turning Active
Development of novel dynamometry for the assessment of muscle strength and endurance in epidemiological studies on older people - CompletedActive
The development and validation of a kinematic model for the measurement of scapular kinematicsActive
Development and validation of a reliable instrumented version of Trunk Impairment ScaleActive
Development and pilot evaluation of a web-supported programme of constraint therapy for post stroke upper limb rehabilitationActive
Development of an integrated service model incorporating innovative technology for the rehabilitation of the upper limb following stroke, (Assistive Technologies in Rehabilitation Following Stroke (ATRAS)Active
ELFOAB / Epidemiology and lifetime risk of osteoarthritis within the foot and biomechanical functional outcomesActive
The epidemiology, aetiology and clinical importance of forefoot bursae in patients with rheumatoid arthritisActive
Exploring communication and clinical decision-making in consultations between physiotherapists and people with back painActive
Feasibility of trunk training post stroke using video gamesActive
FeeTURA4 / Forefoot complications in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: identification, impact and interventionActive
GAFRA / The impact of early adult rheumatoid arthritis on the biomechanical and functional characteristics of the foot and lower limbActive
GO2-digital (New Generation Oxygen Supplies with Digital Patient Interface)Active
Hand opening to grasp ‘virtual’ objects during reaching tasks in a rehabilitation robot: a proof of concept studyActive
ICF to develop integrated interventions for staff and severe dementia institutionalised elderlyActive
Instrumented Stump Sock for Measuring Pressure at the Stump/Sock InterfaceActive
Iterative User-Centred Design of a Paediatric Upper Limb Prosthetic DeviceActive
MOTH Project 1Active
MOTH Project 3Active
MOTH Project 2Active
Motion analysis of movement dysfunction in musculoskeletal disordersActive
Movement dysfunction in footballers with hip and groin painActive
Muscle Tone in Space (Myotones Project)Active
Novel technology for assessing muscle tone and mechanical properties: MyotonPROActive
Optimized athlete body sensor networks for simulation-based performance analysisActive
Osteoarthritis of the thumb therapy (OTTER) trialActive
Quantitative measures of impairment and how they relate to function in the older adult post-stroke, Dunhill Trust / British Geriatric SocietyActive
Rehabilitation for elderly COPD patients and their families: promoting a comprehensive, integrated intervention based on ICFActive
SARAH – Strengthening and stretching for people with rheumatoid arthritis of the hand. The clinical and cost effectiveness of an exercise programme over and above usual careActive
Self Management VOICED (Valued Outcomes of Importance: ConsEnsus and Disparity) Active
Shimmer Sensors for activity monitoring in post stroke upper limb rehabilitationActive
Strength and Balance in Older GolfersActive
Stroke BackActive
The design and evaluation of an intervention to improve self-management skills in patients with musculoskeletal disease and low literacyActive
The educational needs of nurses, allied health professionals (AHPs) and associate health and social care practitioners working in musculoskeletal diseaseActive
The experiences and expectations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients referred to Pulmonary Rehabilitation programmesActive
The HealthLines Study: expanding the role of NHS Direct in the management of long-term conditionsActive
A Tongue Movement Command and Control System Based on Aural Flow MonitoringActive
Does transcranial Direct Current Stimulation improve functional mobility in people with Parkinson's disease?Active
Understanding and measuring the burden of supported self-care rehabilitation for people with stroke and their families - NIHR Post-Doctoral Fellowship.Active
Understanding the workload and burdens for informal carers of people treated in Stroke Early Supported Discharge Active
Using functional electrical stimulation mediated by iterative learning control and robotics to improve arm movement for people with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS)Active
Warm up exercise programmes in youth football to improve movement qualityActive
Absorbent products for urinary/faecal incontinence: a comparative evaluation of key product categories - DormantDormant
An investigation into friction, sheer and interface pressures of continence products - DormantDormant
An investigation into neonatal skin care practices and their relationships to skin barrier function - DormantDormant
An investigation into skin hydration, interface pressures, emollients and absorbents - DormantDormant
Computerised lung sound analysis as an outcome measure for physiotherapy airway clearance techniques - DormantDormant
Development of a smart Armeo - DormantDormant
Dissolution profiles for urinary catheter encrustation - DormantDormant
Does Behaviour Change Counselling increase levels of physical activity in patients with asthma? - DormantDormant
Does benchmarking improve bowel care in care home settings? - DormantDormant
Effectiveness of silver ring splints in rheumatoid arthritis - DormantDormant
Exploring and developing the evidence base for skin hygiene practices and emollient therapy in the reduction of skin vulnerability - DormantDormant
Hand function in early rheumatoid arthritis - DormantDormant
Improving care in the management of older people with long-term urinary catheters - DormantDormant
Motivating Mobility: Interactive Systems to promote Physical Activity and Leisure for people with limited mobility - DormantDormant
Motor task manager reliability and validity study - DormantDormant
National survey of the continuing professional development (CPD) of nurses and allied health professionals working with people with musculoskeletal conditions - DormantDormant
Patient Experience of MRSA Screening - DormantDormant
Patient perspectives in COPD: activities, social participation and pulmonary rehabilitation - DormantDormant
Portable direct light microscopy to assess microbial contamination of hospital surfaces and equipment and the effectiveness of routine decontamination techniques - DormantDormant
A preliminary study into the reliability of breathing parameters measured using the LifeShirt® during the slow breathing technique - DormantDormant
Programme of clinical trials of biomedical continence devices - DormantDormant
A randomised controlled trial of invasive acupuncture for the treatment of hyperventilation syndrome (HVS) - DormantDormant
Skin hydration, friction, sheer and absorbent products - DormantDormant
The effect of dietary caffeine restriction on overactive bladder symptoms in females - DormantDormant
Towards effective inter-professional education and practice: Patients' perceptions of inter- and intra- professional communication (IIPC) in the palliative care setting - DormantDormant
Types of urethral catheter for reducing symptomatic urinary tract infections in hospitalised adults requiring short-term catheterisation: Multicentre randomised controlled trial of antibiotic and antiseptic impregnated urethral catheters - DormantDormant
What evidence currently exists on the incidence and the clinical and economic impact of urinary catheter-associated infection (CAUTI) in the community? - DormantDormant
Maintenance Of Physical AcTivity BeHaviour (MOTH) programme Dormant
SPIDERSOLE: Optimal insole design for people who have foot arthritis.Dormant
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