Spinal stenosis research protocol wins King’s Health Partners prize

A physiotherapist has won a £750 prize for her plans to test the potential benefits of post-surgery rehab for patients with spinal stenosis.


Suzanne McIlroy is a clinical lead physio at King’s College Hospital.

Suzanne McIlroy’s research protocol received the money from the King’s Health Partners, an academic health science centre in London.

Ms McIlroy, a clinical lead physio at Kings College Hospital NHS Trust, was named the overall winner among entrants who undertook King’s Health Partners’ course on designing clinical research.

The course culminated in a presentation of the final protocols the students have designed, and Ms McIlroy came out on top.

Her protocol looks into researching the rehabilitation of patients with this condition, where the bone channel surrounding the spinal nerves or spinal cord narrows. It is titled ‘A feasibility study: does a rehabilitation programme improve walking ability compared to usual care in adults following lumbar decompression surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis’.

The three-month course aims to help clinicians and allied health professionals move into clinical research. It includes developing hypotheses, study aims, design, research methodology, ethical considerations and data analysis.

‘I had worked hard throughout the course with Dr Lindsay Bearne, from the academic physiotherapy department at King’s College London,’ she said. ‘But I didn’t think I was likely to win.

‘I plan to apply for a clinical doctoral research fellowship through the National Institute for Health Research next year. As part of the application, I will develop the protocol I designed during the research course.’

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