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Philippa Nicolson

BPhty, PhD

Versus Arthritis Foundation Fellow

  • Deputy Director of DPhil and MSc(Res) Taught Courses
  • EPA Cephalosporin Junior Research Fellow, Linacre College
  • Honorary Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney

My research focuses on improving the management of chronic musculoskeletal conditions (primarily hip and knee osteoarthritis) in older adults.

In June 2020 I commenced a Versus Arthritis Foundation Fellowship, developing and testing an exercise intervention for the oldest adults (aged 80 years or older) with hip and knee osteoarthritis and common co-morbidities. The fellowship programme of work includes a systematic review; analysis of cohort data to identify the impact co-morbidities have on mobility and function among people with hip/knee osteoarthritis; patient and clinician prioritisation of programme components, and a randomised feasibility trial and qualitative evaluation to test whether the programme can be delivered.

I am a member of the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) International Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis working group, working to establish consensus on the best outcomes to measure pain and function in hip and knee osteoarthritis research and clinical practice. I am a member of Osteoarthritis Research International (OARSI) and a committee member of the Council for Allied Health Professions Research Oxfordshire. I have ongoing collaborations with colleagues at Keele University and the University of Sydney, and currently co-supervise a PhD student with Prof David Hunter.

Since qualifying as a Physiotherapist from the University of Otago (New Zealand) in 2006 I have worked in orthopaedic inpatient and outpatient departments in New Zealand, the UK and Australia. 

My PhD, completed at the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine (CHESM) at the University of Melbourne, investigated a number of aspects of adherence to exercise among people with knee osteoarthritis. I continued to work clinically throughout my PhD, and taught on the DPT course at the University of Melbourne.

I joined the RRIO team in June 2018 as a Post-Doctoral Researcher, working on the BOOST and OPAL studies, and facilitating the international implementation of the Back Skills Training (BeST) programme via the FutureLearn platform.