Our PhD Research
Read the theses published by Doctoral Researchers who have completed a PhD with the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport.
Wheeling to London 2012: the psycho-social health & well-being of GB's Wheelchair Basketball players
Dr Melanine Best
The purpose of this PhD was to explore the psycho-social health (PSH) and well-being (WB) of Great Britain’s (GB) Wheelchair Basketball (WhB) players over time, starting from when they became disabled and culminating in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Shoulder pain and wheelchair propulsion biomechanics in manual wheelchair users
Dr Simon Briley
Shoulder pain is a common health concern among manual wheelchair users. The biomechanical parameters of wheelchair propulsion are thought to be associated with shoulder pain symptoms. This thesis seeks to identify links between shoulder pain and the biomechanical characteristics of propelling a whee
A narrative study of the lives of "Combat Surfers" : suffering and surfing in the aftermath of war
Dr Nick Caddick
In this PhD, the lives and experiences of a group of combat veterans who began surfing following their return from war are explored. The purpose of this research is to explore the effects of surfing and, more broadly, of participation in the charity Surf Action in the veterans lives and on their wel
Investigating energy expenditure in wheelchair athletes
Dr Louise Croft
The aim of this thesis was to investigate energy expenditure in wheelchair athletes, with the potential to inform guidelines on the physiological and nutritional requirements of wheelchair sporting competition and daily wheelchair propulsion.
Fundamental underpinnings of electromyography-based biofeedback for transtibial amputee gait rehab
Dr Natalie Egginton
Electromyography (EMG) feedback can deliver targeted information about movement patterns, with potential for daily living applications within lower limb amputees. This thesis investigates fundamental features of EMG that require consideration prior to incorporation into a biofeedback system.
Appetite regulation and lean mass: considerations in people with a spinal cord injury
Dr Jordan Fenton
People with a spinal cord injury (SCI) experience substantial changes in body composition, including increased adiposity and reduced fat-free mass. However, little is known about how chronic SCI influences appetite regulation, eating behaviours and obesity risk.
Caffeine: evidence-based guidance for use during upper-body exercise and for individuals with a SCI
Dr Terri Graham-Paulson
The use of nutritional supplements (NS) is common in able-bodied (AB) athletic populations and good evidence exists for a number of NS. However, little evidence is available regarding the popularity and efficacy of NS in a population of athletes with physical impairments.
Thermoregulatory responses of athletes with a spinal cord injury during rest and exercise
Dr Katy Griggs
The thermoregulatory responses of athletes with an SCI have been an under-studied area of research. Ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games research is needed to gain a greater understanding of how heat balance is altered in individuals with an SCI and the thermoregulatory consequences as a result.
Strategies to induce an inflammatory response
Dr Sven Hoekstra
In this thesis, factors that may influence the acute inflammatory response to exercise are investigated to inform strategies to reduce chronic low-grade inflammation in people with a low physical capacity and restricted to engage in lower-body exercise.
Exploring the power of stories as a means to promote physical activity for people with arthritis
Dr Emily Hunt
Physical activity (PA) is known to have therapeutic potential for people with chronic conditions. PA is commonly prescribed to manage arthritis, yet often people with arthritis have inactive lifestyles. This thesis explores how stories can be used as a means to promote PA for people with arthritis.
The application of subjective ratings of perceived exertion to regulate exercise intensity during up
Dr Mike Hutchinson
In order to inform practice surrounding upper body exercise testing and prescription, this thesis explores the application of subjective markers of exercise intensity such as ratings of perceived exertion.
A sociological critique of the legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games
Dr Shane Kerr
This thesis presents a sociological critique of the concept of legacy as it surrounded the London 2012 Paralympic Games. A sociological approach was adopted to challenge much of the spontaneous sociology that surrounds the ascendancy of legacy within the Olympic and Paralympic space.
Resilience in people with spinal cord injury: a narrative approach
Dr Joanna Kirby
The purpose of this research is to understand how resilience is experienced and given meaning in people with SCI, as well how resilience is fostered, how it impacts upon health and well-being, and how it can be managed to achieve maximum benefits with regard to health and well-being.
A Bourdieusian investigation into reproduction and transformation in the field of disability cricket
Dr Paul Kitchin
Disability cricket in England and Wales exists within a constant state of change. This thesis is an organizational analysis of how environmental factors foster reproduction and/or transformation within the field of disability cricket.
Efficiency of hand-rim propulsion: synchronous vs. asynchronous push strategies
Dr John Lenton
To compare the force application characteristics at various push frequencies of asynchronous (ASY) and synchronous (SYN) hand-rim propulsion, 8 able-bodied participants performed a separate sub-maximal exercise test on a wheelchair roller ergometer for each propulsion mode.
Exercise recovery and sleep characteristics in wheelchair court sports athletes
Dr Conor Murphy
This thesis aims to set a foundation to understand the implications for both health and performance, of exercise recovery and sleep in Paralympic athletes by specifically targeting wheelchair court sports and athletes with a cervical spinal cord injury.
Thermoregulatory responses to warm-up and cooling strategies: Considerations for para-athletes
Dr Tom O’Brien
Four main focuses; warm-up, cooling interventions available in SCI, recovery following induced increases in body temperature, and pre-cooling have been investigated to provide further insights to the physical preparations of wheelchair rugby players, who have a large proportion of players with an SC
Supporting the prescription of exercise in spinal cord injured populations
Dr Tom Paulson
Following a spinal cord injury (SCI), participation in regular exercise can enhance physical capacity and performance in activities of daily living. The use of subjective ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) may provide an easy-to-administer alternative to traditional methods of regulating exercise i
Use of a radio frequency tracking system to quantify the external demands of elite wheelchair rugby
Dr James Rhodes
Within team sports, coaches aim to improve physical preparation by optimising the training process specific to competition. This thesis investigates measures of external load during elite competition and explores whether this can be translated to inform current training practices.
Performance determinants and classification in paracanoe
Dr Johanna Rosen
This thesis examines the impact of impairment on key performance determinants in para va’a and para kayak. It examines the reliability of the para va’a classification system and the validity of the para kayak classification system (Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, in collaboration w
We want more: Breaking down disabling structures in inclusive sport
Dr Lesley Sharpe
A multi-stakeholder examination of the UK School Games, the purpose of this research was to examine how the School Games framework provides an inclusive school sport experience for young people with SEND and what these experiences teach us about inclusive sport.
The impact of sitting volleyball participation on the lives of players with impairments
Dr Carla Silva
Whilst identifying, describing and assessing the main personal capabilities in which participation in sitting volleyball had a significant impact, the study presents simultaneously an anthropological account of the sitting volleyball field in the United Kingdom as it developed.
Physiological demands and court-movement patterns of wheelchair tennis
Dr Paul Sindall
For those with a spinal cord injury (SCI), or severe physical impairment, tennis participation represents an opportunity for skill and motor development, and potential for disease risk reduction. This thesis examines whether these benefits are available to novice, developmental or low-skill players.
Paratriathletes' physiological and thermoregulatory response to training load and competition
Dr Ben Stephenson
Paratriathlon made its Paralympics debut in 2016. However, despite athletes displaying impairments that present several considerations for coaches and practitioners, there is little understanding of how athletes’ impairments impact thermoregulation or physiological response to changes in training lo
Recumbent handbike set-up for sports performance
Dr Ben Stone
Handcycling has become a popular recreational and sporting exercise modality for individuals with lower limb impairments. This thesis aims to increase understanding of recumbent handbike configuration, physiology and biomechanics, which is critical for the development of sports performance.
Understanding coach learning in disability sport: a Bourdieusian analysis
Dr Robert Townsend
There is an absence of in-depth sociological research on disability coaching and coach education. The purpose of this research was to answer longstanding calls to explore the learning and development of coaches in disability sport.
Spinal cord injury and physical activity: health, well-being and (false) hope
Dr Toni Williams
It is vital that people with spinal cord injury (SCI) maintain a physically active lifestyle to promote lifelong health and well-being. The purpose of this thesis was to explore the role of physical activity for people with SCI in hospital rehabilitation and in the community.