Amanda Hall: understanding the gaps in evidence-based practice

Amanda Hall: understanding the gaps in evidence-based practice

Meet Dr Amanda Hall, Research Fellow at The George Institute working to identify the most viable solutions to support successful implementation of guidelines.  

How long have you been working at The George Institute?

I joined the George Institute at the University of Oxford in March 2014. Prior to this research fellowship, I completed a PhD at the George Institute in Sydney with Chris Maher, Jane Latimer, Manuela Ferreira between 2007 and 2011.

What attracted you to working at The George Institute?

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed doing my PhD at the George and I think from that experience there were three main reasons I wanted to continue to work at the George post PhD. First, the high level of research quality and integrity; second, the global impact and translatability of the research that is being done across different disciplines, and third and perhaps most importantly the culture of the organisation that is created by the type of people who work there. It is a such a positive group atmosphere that embraces, challenges and fosters new ideas - I think groups such as these are rare finds and I feel fortunate to be a part of the growing and expanding team in Oxford.

What are you currently working on?

I currently work mainly with Robyn Norton and Jane Latimer on research initiatives related to improving personalised and value-based care for low back pain. During my first year here in Oxford, this area of work has focused on building collaborative networks in the field of low back pain and implementation research within the UK. To that end, I am currently collaborating with Researchers at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Science on a project aimed at implementing and evidence-based intervention for low back pain in primary care. This project is aligned with and funded by the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) in Oxford. I am also collaborating with the Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) Group, part of the Cochrane Review group, on a review of the effectiveness of tools to implement guidelines in practice. And lastly, I have been fortunate to collaborate with Dr Chris Wells and Professor Chris Eccleston on the organization of the European Federation of IASP Chapters 2015 conference entitled Translating Evidence Into Practice.

What is a recent highlight?  

Perhaps the most recent was in June of this year where I had the opportunity to present some of my research on the management of back pain at the Primary HealthCare Partnerships Forum in my hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada - there was much invigorating discussion and it was a great networking event.

What difference will this make to healthcare and why?

These projects will help to understand how to identify and target evidence-practice gaps in practice and subsequently inform the design of sustainable implementation tools to facilitate the impact of high-quality and personalised evidence-based care to patients with low back pain. 

What is your professional background?

I completed an Undergraduate and Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology in 2001 at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. My first clinical job was as an Exercise Physiologist as part of a multidisciplinary chronic pain management program for musculoskeletal pain conditions at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay, Canada.

To explain to people what I do I say….

I usually say that I am involved in trying to understand the gaps in evidence-based practice and identify the most viable solutions to support successful implementation of guidelines. 

To unwind at the end of the day  I...

At the end of the day I enjoy rowing on the River Thames and on the weekends I love to explore the countryside and go camping. I also have recently started training for a half-marathon in October as a fitness goal – will have to wait and see how this pans out!

My biggest achievement so far….

At this stage I have particularly enjoyed working with stakeholder groups including clinicians in the field of back pain to gain a real world perspective on the use of guidelines. This work has provided insights that I hope will enrich my future research proposals.