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Clinical Rehabilitation and Exercise Medicine group themes

Find out about the research themes for the Clinical Rehabilitation and Exercise Medicine (CREM) group


The CREM research group is part of the Department for Health

Prevention and Management

Focussing on maintaining functional mobility, health and wellbeing in adults, our work in this area focusses on the role of exercise-based therapies for preventing or reducing the severity/impact of insidious onset diseases, such as:

  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • osteoarthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • cancer.

We are developing and evaluating e-health and m-health solutions to sustain exercise, physical activity and other healthy behaviours in a range of target groups.

Some of our preventive research focusses on strategies to reduce the rate of progression of secondary chronic diseases in patient populations that have already suffered a significant disabling event, including:

  • spinal cord injury (SCI)
  • lower limb amputation (LLA)
  • joint replacement surgery.

Rehabilitation and Recovery

Recognising that tissue and functional degeneration occurs rapidly during prolonged periods of bed-rest and recovery, our research aims to inform the design and implementation of exercise-based therapeutic interventions as early as possible in the rehabilitation and recovery process. The group systematically explores the biological, psychological and mechanical determinants of rehabilitation and recovery from injury, illness and surgery.

Our research informs best-practice in exercise-based strategies to enhance the acute recovery, maximise functional improvements and reduce the long-term burden of disability and associated chronic diseases. Our work in this area includes working with patients with SCI and LLA, but also patients recovering from knee surgery, cardiac events and cancer-related surgery and treatments.

Long-term Health and Wellbeing

The primary cause of morbidity and mortality in people with disabilities is now cardiovascular disease, which often occurs secondary to metabolic disease. Disability is associated with an accelerated progression of these chronic diseases and also has significant impacts on health-related quality of life.

Our research investigates barriers and motives for healthy and active lifestyles in people with disabilities and investigates the efficacy of novel lifestyle interventions on the maintenance of health and wellbeing in people living with disabilities.

We work with national charities and organisations (e.g. Versus Arthritis, Public Health England, British Heart Foundation) to design, implement and evaluate physical activity interventions in partnership with a range of providers.

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