Rehabilitation Medicine

The Academic Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Leeds is part of the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine and was one of the first academic rehabilitation departments to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach to research and education, involving medical staff, health service researchers, allied health professional researchers and people with disability and their families.

Research: The department has a strong academic track record over the last 25 years leading on a broad spectrum of research activity. The underlying principle governing our research program is using rehabilitation research to reduce dependency and disability in people with long-term conditions (such as acute or progressive disabling neurological and musculoskeletal diseases). We have a long track record in multidisciplinary research as evidenced by strong links between basic science and clinical research across health and physical sciences (engineering) and involvement of adults and children with disability and their families in the research program. Our research program has three broad themes; (1) development and evaluation of novel health technologies to improve recovery of those with disabling neurological conditions and investigation of the impact existing and novel health technologies through early stage feasibility studies through to multicentre Phase 3 clinical trials, (2) development of robust health outcomes using modern measurement approaches to measure impact of health care interventions across disabling long term conditions; (3) health services research focused at improving lives of disabled people (such as those with rheumatic, neurological, psychiatric conditions).

Education: The department is involved extensively in undergraduate medical education and postgraduate training. There are five Speciality Trainees in Rehabilitation Medicine within the West Yorkshire training program. We also have an active National Institute of Health Research Integrated Academic Training program and Rehabilitation Medicine speciality trainees are supported to undertake postgraduate research degrees. The psychometric laboratory holds regular courses on application of modern approaches to measurement science and structural equation modelling which attracts both national and international participants. The senior academic staff is also involved in teaching and training doctors in developing countries.

Academic infrastructure: The infrastructure underlining this research program includes (a) the Charterhouse Rehabilitation Technologies laboratory, a fully accessible and equipped laboratory for restorative rehabilitation technology development which facilitates user centred design processes (for adults and children); (b) the Psychometric Laboratory which is widely recognised as the principal European centre for applying modern measurement approaches to develop robust health outcomes. The research and teaching activities undertaken through the Psychometric Laboratory have led to an extensive national and international collaborative programme of research and development including collaborations with the World Health Organisation on analysis of its health and ageing survey. The department has an excellent national and international reputation with strong collaborations across faculties locally, nationally and internationally. It has very strong links to NHS rehabilitation infrastructure in the Yorkshire area, as well nationally, which facilitates local and multicentre research.