• 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow Caledonian University

    G4 0BA Glasgow

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

David is a reader in musculoskeletal health within the Research Centre for Health at GCU, joining in 2022 from Edinburgh Napier University where he was formally associate professor of physiotherapy. He completed his PhD in orthopaeadic outcomes at the University of Edinburgh and worked there for 10-years as a postdoctoral researcher and then fellow and principle investigator with the orthopeadic engineering group and surgical colleagues in NHS Lothian. His primary research interests are in measuring outcomes/physical function in osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal injury/disease, orthopaedic/rehabilitative interventions, predictive modelling, evaluating the psychometric properties of outcome questionnaires, and more generally in research methodology and clinical trials. Wider interests transcend musculoskeletal sciences and rehabilitation, from muscle stem cells and regeneration to kinematics and biomechanics.

He is an active researcher with honorary fellowships at the University of Edinburgh (orthopaedics), and at the University of Aberdeen (epidemiology, arthritis and pain research). He has collaborated on >£5 million of research funding from Versus Arthritis, EPSRC, NIHR and industry partners which has resulted in >100 publications to date.

He has worked on various interventional trials. Recently completed studies include the TRIO RCT, which was a multi-centre UK trial evaluating whether physiotherapy targeted to patients predicted to perform poorly following total knee replacement could improve outcomes, as well as the CASINO and TRIMAX RCTs, which evaluated hip and knee replacement outcomes. He is currently leading the ROBOTA project, evaluating patient outcomes following robotic-assisted hip and knee surgery, and leads the rehabilitation arm of the NIHR funded MOTION RCT with partners in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Warwick. This major trial is looking at whether joint realignment surgery outperforms physiotherapy management in young patients with knee osteoarthritis. 

Alongside Edinburgh and Aberdeen, David has active research collaborations with colleagues at the University of Zurich and the Medical University of Innsbruck (patient reported outcomes and methodological research), and at Oxford University and the Virginia Commonwealth University (rehabilitation trials and predictive modelling).

He enjoys supporting MSK postgraduate research and has supervised 3x PhD studies to completion alongside 4x MRes degrees for clinical staff (physiotherapists, surgeons and nurses). He has 6x active PhD students, 4 of whom are phsyiotherapists investigating applied clinical projects.

He sits on the Scotland consortia of the Council for Allied Health Professions Research, the executive committee (as treasurer) of the British Orthopaedic Research Society, and is part of the EPSRC Osteoarthritis Technology network. He is associate journal editor for research methodlogy at the Knee, having been on the editorial board of BMC musculoskeletal disorders for a number of years.

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

External positions

Associate Editor for research methodology, the Knee (Journal)

1 Sept 2023 → …

Treasurer, British Orthopaedic Research Society

30 Sept 202130 Sept 2024

CAHPR Scotland consortia leadership group, Council for Allied Health Professions Research Scotland

1 Sept 2021 → …


  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Orthopedics
  • Physiotherapy
  • Health Services Research
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative


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