Chris Seenan


  • 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow Caledonian University

    G4 0BA Glasgow

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Willing to speak to media

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Personal profile

Research interests


I studied physiotherapy at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (2002-2006), where I became interested in pain and peripheral arterial disease. I was awarded a scholarship-funded PhD to study the laboratory and clinical ischaemic pain and the effects of TENS on measures of pain and walking performance (2007-2013) whist working part time as a physiotherapist in NHS Tayside and NHS Lothian. I then secured a Lectureship at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2010 and promotion to Senior Lecturer in 2017.

I am a HCPC registered physiotherapist and a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. I am a member of British Pain Society, Physiotherapy Pain Association and Physiotherapy Research Society and an elected Executive Board Member for the British Pain Society Pain Education Special Interest Group and Physiotherapy Pain Association. I am Co-Editor in Chief for Pain and Rehabilitation.


I lead the Council of Allied Health Professions Research (CAHPR) West of Scotland Hub which is a network of clinicians, academics, researchers and students across the AHP disciplines in the West of Scotland. The aim of this collaboration is to deliver the CAHPR mission “to develop AHP research, strengthen evidence of the professions’ value and impact for enhancing service user and community care, and enable the professions to speak with one voice on research issues, thereby raising their profile and increasing their influence.”

I also lead the Active Living Research Hub based at Glasgow Caledonian University which is a collaboration of academics across disciplines and with the aim of knowledge sharing and research collaboration to support and develop research into physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health psychology / behaviour.

My interests are primarily in pain science, cardiac and vascular disease, amputee management, physical activity and the psychosocial aspects of health and disease. I have a particular expertise and interest in electrical stimulation, patient-centred education and other low-cost, non-invasive, patient-centred interventions and exploring the effects of these interventions on free-living physical activity, function, quality of life, secondary prevention and the psychosocial aspects of chronic conditions. Some examples of ongoing projects:

Pain management and patient education for physical activity in people with intermittent claudication (PrEPAID): I am currently investigating the effects of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and patient-centred education on physical activity in patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Intermittent Claudication (IC), funded by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) 

The physiological and clinical effects of electrical stimulation in patients with peripheral arterial disease: Limb pain is a major barrier to physical activity and exercise uptake and there are currently limited effective treatments which can improve exercise tolerance in this patient group. Recent work has suggested, however, that the use of electrical stimulation applied to the lower limb during walking resulted in an increase in walking distance. This project will explore the nature of IC pain and the effects of TENS on measure of pain experience, physiology and function.

Healthcare students’ knowledge, confidence, attitudes and beliefs related to pain (The National Interprofessional Pre-Registration Pain Education (NIPPEd) project): Investigation of pre-registration healthcare students’ knowledge, understanding, confidence, attitudes and beliefs related to pain management. We are conducting a national survey and follow-up investigation of knowledge and confidence related to pain management in all medical, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, psychology and AHP students in Scotland. The ultimate aim of the project is to develop educational resources and implementation strategies to address the limitations in current educational provision for healthcare students.

Pain Navigator Tool and Therapeutic Alliance: This project will explore how implementation of the Pain Navigator Tool ( into a physiotherapy MSK outpatient setting affects the quality of the consultation and development of therapeutic alliance between physiotherapists and people presenting with pain.

Models of care and use of PPAM aid in amputee rehabilitation: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) funded project (£20,000) in association with Scottish Physiotherapy Amputee Research Group (SPARG) and the NHS. This project will analyse two years of retrospective SPARG data specifically examining demographics, rehabilitation milestones and outcomes of patients following a unilateral trans-tibial amputation. Linking the SPARG data to the different models of care will allow for recommendations to be made regarding the optimum PPAM aid treatment program and which model of care best supports this in terms of clinical effectiveness and user friendliness.

General areas of interest: Pain, Peripheral Arterial Disease, Intermittent Claudication, Patient Education, TENS, Physical Activity, Psychosocial factors, Amputee management, Cardiovascular disease, Secondary prevention

PhD Students: I am currently supervising 3 PhD students (Cassandra MacGregor, Ebuka Anieto and Sean Paul Carroll)


I teach modules focused on:  cardiorespiratory, research methods, research supervision, health promotion, Evidence Based Practice, advancing practice in physiotherapy and paramedicine, and philosophy.

I am the Department International Lead.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
  • Educational Psychology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases
  • Alternative and Complementary Medicine
  • Therapeutics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Physiotherapy
  • Preventative Medicine
  • Primary Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Movement and Mind-Body Therapies


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