Professor Dawn Skelton

Research interests

Over 25 years experience as a researcher in the UK. Regular international keynote speaker on exercise and falls prevention. Scientific Co-ordinator for ProFaNE (Prevention of Falls Network Europe) and work package lead in ProFouND (Prevention of Falls Network for Dissemination), both EU funded. Strong interest in falls prevention and motivation of older and frailer adults to take part in strength and balance exercise to prevent falls and fractures. More recently became interested in sedentary behaviour and bone health. Led MRC funded Seniors USP (Understanding Sedentary Patterns). Have led or been a co-investigator in research grants totalling £10 million and contributed significantly to the research literature with over 170 research papers, review articles, Cochrane reviews, reports, professional journal articles, books and book chapters. Was Associate Editor for the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity for 10 years and am now co-editor of the Journal of Frailty, Sarcopenia and Falls.   

Currently a member of the Public Health England Falls and Fractures Steering Group who are generating a Return on Investment Tool to support commissioners of services in falls and fracture management and am Chairing the Older Peoples Panel of the CMO Physical Activity Guideline update group. Also on the Scientific Advisory Board for the MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research at the University of Birmingham. Presently also a Member of the Expert Panel on ‘Strength and Balance for Health Evidence Review’ for Public Health England and Centre for Better Ageing.  

Specialise in getting research into practice and involvement of key stakeholders (patients, participants, staff, policy makers and commissioners) in dissemination and implementation. Involved in a number of implementation research studies looking at fidelity to original interventions and outcomes when translated into practice. I have always been 80% FTE in academia, and in 2003 set up a not for profit training organisation (Later Life Training) in order to work with the Register of Exercise Professionals to get evidecne based exercise qualifications into the fitness industry to improve outcomes for frailer older people and stroke survivors. Since inception, Later Life Training have trained over 9000 professionals in the UK, Europe and Singapore. 95% of exercise delivery within the NHS falls services in the UK is delivered by people trained in 2 of Later Life Qualifications. Works closely with Geriatricians and Allied Health Professionals in multiple National Advisory Committees and education programmes to increase awareness of the benefits of physical activity in the older population. In 2017 became a Member of the National Osteoporosis Society Clinical and Scientific Advisory Community (CSAC). Currently Chairing the Expert Expert Steering Group (EESG) within a panel the National Osteoporosis Society to produce a Guidance Statement with specific advice on exercise options and cautions for people recently with osteoporosis and/or vertebral fractures, providing consensus and evidence based advice for patients and health professionals working in the field.

In 2017 awarded the British Geriatrics Society Marjory Warren Lifetime Achievement Medal. In 2016 elected as Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and awared an Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. In 2015 awarded an Honorary Doctorate – MD h.c., from the University of Umeä, Sweden

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Research areas

  1. Published

    Associations between health-related quality of life, physical function and fear of falling in older fallers receiving home care

    Bjerk, M., Brovold, T., Skelton, D. A. & Bergland, A. 22 Oct 2018 In : BMC Geriatrics. 18, 253, 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Published
  3. Accepted/In press

    Podiatry interventions to prevent falls in older people: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Wylie, G., Torrens, C., Campbell, P., Frost, H., Gordon, A., Brock, P., Menz, H., Skelton, D., Sullivan, F., Witham, M. & Morris, J. 26 Oct 2018 In : Age and Ageing.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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