CMFT musculoskeletal physiotherapist awarded NIHR CLAHRC research internship

Doré Young, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), has been awarded a NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) research internship to complete her project on the management of low back pain, particularly for patients who have psychosocial factors influencing their pain experience.

Doré’s six-month CLAHRC internship commenced at the start of the year.  The internships are available part-time for UK registered nurses and allied health professionals working in the community in the NHS in the Greater Manchester area.

They are designed to provide an introduction to research for those interested in pursuing a clinical academic career in the future through carrying out a small research project relating to their work. Doré’s research question is ‘Psychologically informed management of low back pain: An evaluation of physiotherapists’ attitudes and beliefs.’

Doré is part of the Community Division at CMFT, working at several health centres, GP practices and community venues in central Manchester. She is involved in CMFT’s musculoskeletal service redesign, in particular their spinal pathway, and is team lead for the low back pain services. This includes both the ‘Back to Fitness Rehabilitation Programme’ and the ‘Back Wise’ self-management sessions.

Low back pain is extremely common and is a leading cause of disability in the UK. CMFT community physiotherapy services currently use Keele University’s STaRT back tool to stratify back pain patients into low, medium and high risk of psychosocial factors influencing their pain experience, and acting as a barrier to recovery. They currently provide services for low and medium risk groups, and are hoping to develop specific services for ‘high risk’ patients. NICE guidance published in November on low back pain also highlighted the importance of integrating a psychological approach.

Using the knowledge and skills developed during the internship, Doré will enhance clinical research within the redesign of CMFT’s community low back pain management services, in accordance with the new NICE guidance and local and national NHS initiatives, such as Living Longer, Living Better, Healthier Together and Devolution Manchester.

She said:

I am delighted to receive this internship award. NIHR CLAHRC’s emphasis on academic research with a strong clinical component will allow me the unique opportunity of developing my academic research skills within my clinical area.  I am passionate about persistent low back pain management, and the impact of biopsychosocial factors involved in pain. I am excited about using the findings in my day-to-day work as a physiotherapist in Greater Manchester.

Doré is one of the second cohort of CLAHRC interns and there will be final intake on the NIHRC CLAHRC internship programme later this year.  For further information on the programme, CMFT staff can contact either Dr Carianne Hunt via email at: or Lorraine Burey, Project Manager –