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Case Study: Kirsti J Loughran

Kirsti’s programme of studies will investigate the relationship between balance and gait impairment in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and high rates of pain suffered by people with COPD.

Kirsti J Loughran


  • balance
  • Balance and Gait
  • COPOD & Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • HIV
  • Living well with chronic diseases
  • Oncology and Palliative Care
  • palliative care
  • physiotherapy

Conference Outputs

Loughran K J, Dixon J, Martin D J, Harrison S L.

- The relationship of pain and balance and gait impairment in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A study protocol.
- International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation. Month 2017, Vol 24, No 00. Poster. Physiotherapy Research Society. April 2018.

Loughran K J (2018).

- Becoming a clinical researcher: Studying an ethically challenging population on an MSc time scale.
- International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation. Month 2017, Vol 24, No 00. Presentation. Physiotherapy Research Society. April 2018.

W. Chegwidden, D. Brown, K. Hamilton, C. Hawkins, K. Loughran, E. McDonnell, R. Rich, E. Stevens, C.-A. Wood (2015).

- Will the next generation of rehabilitation professionals be ready to treat people living with HIV?: Results of a survey of UK Higher Education Institutions.
- Poster. 15th European AIDS Conference, Barcelona, October 2015.

K Loughran & S Rice (2013).

- Demonstrating Positive Change in Function, Participation and Well Being for Patients with Advanced Disease.
- Presentation, Macmillan Learn & Share Event.

J Johnson, K Duke, S Rice, J McCord (2012).

- Measuring the Impact of Allied Health Professional Interventions in an Acute Palliative Care Setting.
- Poster, North of England Cancer Network Conference.

J Johnson, K Duke, S Rice, J McCord (2012).

- Developing Specialist Palliative Care Rehabilitation in Acute Hospital Services.
- Poster, NUTH Nursing & Midwifery Conference.

J Dawes, C Duguid, K Duke, S Daniels, C Neale, J Smith and J Abbott, (2012).

- A service evaluation of an exercise group for people living with HIV; Investigating the motivations and barriers to attendance.
- Platform presentation, Physiotherapy UK.

K O’Brien, W Chegwidden, P Solomon, C Worthington, F Ibanez-Carrasco, E Zack, K Duke (2011).

- International Partnerships in HIV and Rehabilitation Research: The Canada-United Kingdom HIV and Rehabilitation Research Collaborative (CUHRRC).
- Poster. World Physical Therapy 2011 20-23 June, Amsterdam, Holland.

Chegwidden, K Duke, S Rackstraw, E McDonnell, R Rich, (2010).

- Physical and cognitive rehabilitation for complications of HIV disease: designing and delivering services in different settings.
- Conference workshop, IAS World AIDS Conference 2010, Vienna.

About Kirsti

Kirsti qualified as a physiotherapist in 2003 and worked clinically for Barts and the London NHS Trust as a Junior Rotational Physiotherapist, then as a Specialist Senior Physiotherapist in Neurosciences and finally Service lead for Infection and Immunity (covering specialities of HIV, Immunology, Endocrinology and Oncology). She moved to Newcastle Hospitals in 2011 primarily working for the Specialist Palliative Care Team on a Macmillan Funded project to install a dedicated Allied Health Professionals (AHP) palliative care service within the acute and community Specialist Palliative Care Teams.

Kirsti has always had a keen interest and involvement in research during her career, particularly in rehabilitation for those with chronic conditions, and undertook a MClinRes in Clinical Research at Newcastle University in 2013. Following this Kirsti joined Teesside University as a full time PhD student in the School of Health as part of the Doctoral Training Alliance (whose aims are to produce independent, highly-employable researchers with expertise and transferrable skills).

Under the supervision of Dr Samantha Harrison, Professor John Dixon, and Professor Denis Martin, Kirsti’s program of studies will investigate the relationship between balance and gait impairment in COPD and high rates of pain suffered by people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), drawing on various areas of her clinical expertise and research skills.

The program consists of a series of studies including: two systematic reviews with meta-analysis of current literature on the balance and gait impairments in COPD; a large secondary data analysis of falls, balance and pain in COPD versus healthy older adults; and a prospective study assessing balance, gait analysis and pain characteristics in people with COPD. The impact of these studies will be a better understanding of the relationship of balance and gait impairment and pain, which can lead to improvements in the treatment of balance and gait impairments to reduce the occurrence and impact of falls in the COPD population.

Kirsti is also working on a large international Randomised Controlled Trial, funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research which is investigating Balance Training in Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Falls Reduction in COPD. As a Research Associate for the study Kirsti conducts the day to day running of the study and blind assessing for study outcomes, which are largely balance assessments of people with COPD, at South Tees NHS Foundation Trust. Kirsti has also held guest lecturing posts at University of Essex for the Pre-registration Physiotherapy MSc and University of East London for the BSc Physiotherapy teaching HIV, Aging and Rehabilitation, and contributes to the undergraduate and post-graduate physiotherapy programs at Teesside University.


Published :: Loughran K, Rice S, Robinson L (2017).
Living with incurable cancer: what are the rehabilitation needs in a palliative setting? Disability and Rehabilitation
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Pending :: Loughran K J, Atkinson G, Beauchamp M K, Dixon J, Martin D J, Rahim S, Harrison S L.
Balance Impairment and Clinical Associations in individuals with COPD: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis.

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