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Prof Eleanor Main
4th Floor, Wellcome Trust Building
UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street
Tel: 0207 905 2754
Fax: 0207 829 8634
  • Professor of Physiotherapy
  • ICH Infect, Imm, Infla. & Physio Med
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Eleanor Main has been closely involved with clinical physiotherapy, teaching and research at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the UCL Institute of Child Health for the last 22 years. She  qualified as a physiotherapist at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1988. In 1991 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Africa while working as a physiotherapist at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town.
Her clinical background is primarily in paediatric neurophysiotherapy and respiratory care, predominantly at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. She was awarded an MSc in Research Methods from Kings College (1995) and a PhD in paediatric respiratory physiology from University College London (2001). She was appointed as Lecturer in Children's Physiotherapy Research at the Institute of Child Health in 2001 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at University College London in 2007.

Research Summary

Eleanor Main’s primary research interests at the UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital relate to clinical efficacy studies in physiotherapy.  Recent or ongoing areas of research engagement are detailed below. This research has resulted in substantive advances in the principles of assessment and management of children who require physiotherapy and has attracted over £1,708,000 in project grant funding. It has also been instrumental in forwarding the research-led and research-based teaching on the postgraduate UCL MSc, Diploma and Certificate programmes in physiotherapy.  This research has a significant international reputation, evidenced by regular invitations to contribute to main symposia at international conferences, as well as invitations to contribute to national and international advisory boards, international scientific committees, task forces and expert panels. Dr Main has over 80 peer reviewed publications.

  •  Development of an intervention to increase physiotherapy adherence among young children with cystic fibrosis: a Medical Research Council complex intervention framework development and feasibility study. £208,690 Funded by the Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate
  • INSPIRE-CF: a randomised controlled trial investigating the clinical and economic benefits of an alternative model of physiotherapy care for children with cystic fibrosis. £410,439 Funded by the Great Ormond Street Hospital Special Trustees
  • Measuring normal and impaired walking in children using the GAITRite walkway. £65,000 Funded by PPP Foundation Consortium for Healthcare Research, £193,728 Funded by the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
  • Development and validation of an incremental step test in children with cystic fibrosis. £30,500 Funded by the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity
  • Safety and efficacy of emergency on-call respiratory physiotherapy services in the paediatric intensive care unit. Funded by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy: £59,967 and Great Ormond Street Children’s  Hospital £50,450
  • The contribution of manual chest compression-vibrations to airflow during physiotherapy in sedated, fully ventilated children. £102,066 Funded by SPARKS Sport Aiding Medical Research for Kids.
  • Factors affecting functional outcomes in children with severe haemophilia
Teaching Summary

Eleanor has been Programme Director for the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc in  Physiotherapy at UCL since 2005. This is one of the largest and most successful postgraduate physiotherapy programmes in the country, with 60 postgraduate physiotherapy students enrolled for the 2014/2015 academic year, and more than 80 additional students attending as Short course or Taster participants. There are currently 4 potential exit routes for students with a choice of 23 modules within the Cardiorespiratory and Paediatric programmes, with both clinical and non-clinical routes for students. 

Eleanor has successfully supervised 4 PhD students and 73 MSc project dissertations to completion and in 2011 was awarded a Fellowship of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for her ‘significant contribution to education, teaching and learning in the field of cardiorespiratory and paediatric physiotherapy’.

Academic Background
2001 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Physiotherapy University College London
1996 MSc Master of Science – Research Methods for Remedial Therapists King's College London
1991 BA Bachelor of Arts – Psychology and English University of South Africa, Pretoria
1988 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Physiotherapy University of the Witwatersrand
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