Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Samantha Harrison is a Professor in Respiratory Rehabilitation. She is a chartered physiotherapist with an international research profile in respiratory rehabilitation. Samantha completed her PhD part-time in the School of Psychology, University of Leicester (2014), whilst working clinically at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester in the pulmonary rehbailiation department where her time was split between research and the clinical service. In 2013 Samantha moved to Toronto, Canada to complete her international post-doctoral training in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

Prof. Harrison contributes to her discipline as a member of the British Thoracic Society pulmonary rehabilitation specialist advisory group. She is a co-lead within the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria (ARC NENC) and is building capacity in evidence-generation, knowledge transfer, networking and skill development to enhance the number of individuals from health and social care engaged in research. 

Summary of Research Interests

The overall objective of Prof. Harrison's research program is to improve the lives of people living with chronic breathlessness, including those with COPD. Two key research aims are: 1. to understand the physical and psychosocial factors underpinning balance impairment in people with COPD and 2. to develop innovative, evidence-based interventions to improve mobility and wellbeing in people with chronic breathlessness. She adopts a transdisciplinary approach, working with academics from health, engineering, art and humanities, sport performance, clinicians and patient public involvement and engagement members. She is supported by a prestigious NIHR Advanced Fellowship to co-create personalised, multifaceted balance training to reduce falls-risk in people with COPD. 

Sam's methodological expertise is in understanding the lived-experience of chronic conditions using qualitative methods and developing and evaluating complex rehabilitation interventions using mixed-methods research. Information from her ongoing research studies will inform the development of a personalised, multifacted balance training intervention for future pilot-testing. 





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