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Rachel Young

Rachel Young MSc, BSc (hons)

Senior Research Fellow


I am a neurological physiotherapist with extensive experience in Higher Education, industry and clinical practice. I am passionate about the generation of new knowledge and am currently completing a programme of doctoral study focussed on power assisted exercise for people with stroke.


Between 2004 and 2016 I was a senior lecturer in physiotherapy at Sheffield Hallam University and since then have transitioned into my current role as a Senior Research Fellow. I am co-lead for the Neurological Rehabilitation Research and Innovation Programme at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre which is dedicated to the development of technologies which enable human movement. I have experience of working with industrial partners including Innerva, eXyo Design and Winback in the co-design and testing of new technologies for people with movement impairment. My research skills include qualitative methods, co-design, usability testing and feasibility evaluation.

I have a specific interest in the development of practice placements and am currently involved in the development of research placements to broaden the experience offered to for health and social care pre-registration students.

Specialist areas of interest

Exercise prescription
Neurological rehabilitation


Department of Allied Health Professions

College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences

Service evaluation of a physical activity programme for long term musculoskeletal conditions: ongoing
Feasibility study to explore the use of accessible isokinetic equipment for people with long term neurological conditions (2013)


Assisted Gamified Exercise For All (AGE4A): Innovate UK funded project to improve uptake of assisted exercise equipment for older adults.

eXyo Design Balance Active User Evaluation: SMART funded project to evaluate development of a biofeedback programme.

An evaluation of the biomechanical, muscular and physiological responses to power assisted exercise: Commercial project to generate new knowledge on real time responses to assisted exercise.


Journal articles

Young, R., Sage, K., Broom, D., Hext, A., & Smith, C. (2022). Effective use of storyboarding as a co-design method to enhance power assisted exercise equipment for people with stroke. Design for Health.

Young, R., Smith, C., Sage, K., & Broom, D. (2021). Application of the nominal group technique to inform a co-design project on power assisted exercise equipment for people with stroke. Physiotherapy, 113 (Supp 1), e80-e81.

Fowler-Davis, S., Young, R., Maden-Wilkinson, T., Hameed, W., Dracas, E., Hurrell, E., ... Copeland, R. (2021). Assessing the acceptability of a co-produced long COVID intervention in an underserved community in the UK. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (24).

Young, R., Sage, K., Broom, D., Broomfield, K., Church, G., & Smith, C. (2021). Using nominal group technique to advance power assisted exercise equipment for people with stroke. Research Involvement and Engagement, 7.

Young, R., Broom, D., O’Brien, R., Sage, K., & Smith, C. (2021). Users’ experience of community-based power assisted exercise: a transition from NHS to third sector services. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 16 (1).

Young, R., Broom, D., Sage, K., Crossland, K., & Smith, C. (2021). Experiences of venue based exercise interventions for people with stroke in the UK: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative research. Physiotherapy, 110, 5-14.

Young, R., Richards, E., Darji, N., Velpula, S., Smith, C., Broom, D., & Goddard, S. (2018). Power assisted exercise for people with complex neurological impairment : a feasibility study. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 25 (6), 262-271.

Conference papers

Young, R., Thompson, A., McLean, S., & Grafton, K. (2016). Impact of a physical activity pathway for musculoskeletal conditions: a clinical–academic partnership service evaluation. Physiotherapy, 102 (Suppl1), e250.


Thompson, A., Mclean, S., Young, R., Khatab, K., Kilner, K., Stagg, R., ... Cooke, J. (2015). THE BACK ACTIVE/STAY ACTIVE PHYSIOTHERAPY MODEL OF CARE: A SERVICE EVALUATION.


Young, R., & Lowe, A. (2015). Integration of vocational qualifications into the curriculum at Sheffield Hallam University to enhance exercise prescription within physiotherapy. Presented at: Physiotherapy UK 2015, Liverpool, UK, 2015

Other activities

Educational representative for the CSP


Presented at Physiotherapy 2015 as a speaker on the workforce development theme.

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