Elizabeth Evans

Research student

Research interests

My clinical and research interests are focused on young people’s hip conditions.  I have developed an expertise in hip dysplasia and am specifically interested in improving recognition of the adult-onset condition. In doing my aim is to accelerate diagnosis of hip dysplasia in adults and thereby improve treatment outcomes as well as preventing or at least delaying secondary, premature osteoarthritis.

I have co-led the development of a research network which importantly includes patients.  These patients have actively contributed to our research plan, our proposals and our research seminars.  Other members of the network include Surgeons, Physiotherapists, Psychologists and Health Economists.  We have received ESRC funding and are currently collaborating with Leeds University and Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.

I qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1984 and completed an MSc in Physiotherapy in 1999.  Having worked clinically in a range of physiotherapy specialties for more than 12 years, I went on to become a Lecturer in Physiotherapy at Cardiff just before the completion of my MSc.  I have been a Senior Lecturer in the University since 2004 and in that time have had a range of responsibilities which have included Admissions Tutor, BSc Programme Manager, IPE Lead and Senate Member.

I am currently completing my PhD for which my thesis title is ‘The Diagnostic indicators of Adult-Onset Hip Dysplasia’

I am part of a research network which was established through a seminar series funded by ESRC [Science Impact Ltd; DOI: https://doi.org/10.21820/23987073.2017.9.82] which I organised along with Dr Tina Gambling (who leads the group).  Our collaborators include researchers at Leeds University and surgeons from the Birmingham Hip Clinic. The network brings together a multidisciplinary group of, clinicians (surgeons and physiotherapists) and researchers (within the fields of psychology, sociology, physiotherapy and movement science). Through this work we have created resources to support current and future PhD and MSc research students.

Thesis

The Diagnostic Indicators of Adult-Onset Hip Dysplasia

My PhD studies are addressing the distressing outcome of delayed and mis-diagnosis of hip dysplasia in adolescents and young adults. The consequences of such delays have seen people as young as just 18 years of age having total hip replacement. We have identified that accelerated diagnosis would enable these young people to achieve successful surgical outcomes from corrective surgery and hence they would retain their native joint.I want to find out why diagnosis of this life-changing condition is so frequently missed and why the clinical picture of adult hip dysplasia is so poorly described in the literature.  In particular, I am establishing an understanding of the patient reported features which appear to be overlooked in the diagnostic assessment of the condition.By combining this patient information with that of surgeons’ who specialise in young people’s hip surgery, I anticipate building a clear clinical picture to support diagnostic assessment of the painful hip.As a researcher based in Cardiff University, I am particularly motivated to succeed in this work as the young people of Wales who suffer this condition have to go to England to access their nearest specialist hip clinic where they would benefit from the joint retaining surgery.The findings of my research will directly translate to clinical practice, accelerating diagnosis by providing one of the required solutions to the challenges of differential diagnosis of young people’s hip pain.

Dr Tina Gambling

Director of Postgraduate Research

Allen, Davina

Professor Davina Allen

Deputy Head: Research and Innovation / Professor of Nursing