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Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Physiotherapy and work related musculoskeletal injury; ergonomics in occupational health and risk assessment; physiotherapy and work with older people; applied ergonomics in work with older people in community care and primary care settings; health promotion; professional development and development of professional knowledge.


Professional Qualifications and professional memberships

  • 2006 Foreign Adjunct Professor, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2003 Reader, School of Allied Health Professions, University of East Anglia
  • 1998 Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • 1998 Honorary Research Associate, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney Australia
  • 1996 Phd  Education, University of East Anglia
  • 1996 Registered Professional Member Ergonomics Society (MErgS)
  • 1988 MSc Ergonomics, University College, London
  • 1968 Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), School of Physiotherapy, Guys Hospital, London (MCSP)

Research interests

  • Development of professional knowledge
  • Professional socialisation and professionalism
  • Professional identity in health and social care
  • Qualitative research


Career summary

Clinical experience in hospital and community settings in the UK and Canada over 13 years made me appreciate the unique contribution of physiotherapy to health care in areas of prevention and health  promotion in primary care, and in rehabilitation settings. This led me to take an MSc in Ergonomics and then to go on to train as a physiotherapy educator. I worked at the School of Physiotherapy, Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge before coming to UEA in 1993. I was appointed a senior lecturer in 1997 and a Reader in 2003


Key Responsibilities

  • I am Director of AHP Professional Development Short Course Programme
  • I am postgraduate research lead for Institute of Education in Health

Teaching Interests

For several years I have taught continuing professional development studies in the pre-registration, post-registration and postgraduate programmes, focusing onto three main areas:  methods of enquiry, including research design and qualitative methodologies; musculoskeletal studies, including moving and handling training and applied ergonomics; and continuing professional development including reflective practice, problem solving, critical appraisal and development of professional knowledge.  

Papers on the topic of professional knowledge development have been presented at a number of national and international peer reviewed conferences and are cited in physiotherapy literature. A textbook Higgs, J., Richardson, B., Arbrant, M. (eds.) (2004) Developing Practice Knowledge for Health Professionals: Practice Epistemology. Oxford: Elsevier Press ISBN 07506 5429 5, developed through collaboration with international colleagues in Australia and Sweden. I have been involved with development of guidelines and educational frameworks for manual handling and risk assessment with the Royal College of Nursing and National Back Exchange and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and  with local practitioner groups.   I was nominated Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for contribution to advancement of physiotherapy in occupational health, and to the study and promotion of the personal and professional development of physiotherapists. My current role in the AHP Professional Development Short Course Programme gives opportunity to work further in continuing professional development for AHPs . 

Key Research Interests

I am a Fellow of the Institute of Education in Health.

My research is focussed onto exploration of practice learning and development of professional knowledge using qualitative methodologies. I have an established research collaboration with Swedish colleagues at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm since 1999. A longitudinal study of professional socialisation of physiotherapists has identified the diversity of expectations, learning pathways, and professional identity across the education programme ( Richardson et al, 2002; Lindquist et al, 2006 a,b

I favour qualitative research approaches and have used a number of methodologies including ethnography, phenomenography and phenomenology. I have given research methods workshops at a European education conference in Portugal  (2004) and Centre for Academic Practice, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh (2005). A virtual Physiotherapy Qualitative Research International Network (hosted until 2007 by UEA Blackboard) attracted members from many countries across the globe and I continue to host a Colloquium of qualitative research at UEA that attracts European delegates.

I am co-chair of the Health Identities Network in FOH and regional representative for the National Physiotherapy Research Network.

I am assistant Editor in Chief and Book Review Editor for Advances in Physiotherapy. I edited the recent issue on the International Classification of Functioning and Disability (Volume 10 issue 3. 2008)

2008 Current supervision of doctoral research studies:

  • Study: The lived experience of people with multiple sclerosis
  • Study: The professional readiness of occupational therapy students
  • Study: The lived experience of stoma patients
  • Study: Exploration of identity in health and social care



  1. Mohseni-Bandpei, M (2000) “A randomised trial of spinal manipulation: measuring pain, functional disability, lumbar movement and muscle endurance”.
  2. Daborn, C. (2001) “The effect of a sustained upper limb neuro-provocation test on median nerve conduction and the role of neuro-provocation techniques in the management of carpal tunnel syndrome”
  3. Daykin, A. (2002) “A mixed methods study regarding physiotherapists’ pain beliefs and their influence on the therapeutic encounter”
  4. Bond, M. (2002) “An investigation of factors that inhibit or facilitate access and utilization of research information by therapy professionals”.
  5. Stephenson, R. (2004) “Paradigm challenges to physiotherapy practice taking a complexity approach” (PhD by publication).
  6. Karimi, A (2004) “A prospective study of outcome of physiotherapy and surgery for patients with low back pain”
  7. Leeson, J. (2006) An ethnomethodology-informed ethnography of the interprofessional collaboration of two multidisciplinary child development teams
  8. Thomson, D. (2006) An  ethnography of Physiotherapy practice
  9. Lindquist, I (2006)  Learning to be a physiotherapist (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden)
  10. Matthews, M (2008) MPhil The use of dynamic Lycra leggings in the treatments of patients with cerebral palsy

Selected publications

Stephenson, R. and Richardson, B. (2008) Building an Interprofessional Curriculum Framework for Health: A Paradigm for Health Function  Advances in Health Science Education 13 (4): 547-57

Edwards I and Richardson B (2008) Clinical reasoning and population health: Decision making for an emerging paradigm of health care. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 24, 3, 183-194

Thomson, D., Steward, B., Richardson,B. (2008) How a team of physiotherapists negotiated  the impact of current health policies on their practice Advances in Physiotherapy 10:21-30

Watts, F., S. Lindqvist, Pearce, S., Drachler, M. and Richardson, B (2007). "Introducing a post-registration interprofessional learning programme for healthcare teams." Medical Teacher 29(5): 443-449

Mohseni-Bandpie, Critchley, J., Staunton, T, Richardson, B. (2006) “A prospective randomised controlled trial of spinal manipulation and ultrasound in the treatment of chronic low back pain” Physiotherapy 92: 34-42

Lindquist, I, Engardt, M., Poland, F., Garnham, E and Richardson, B. (2006) "Physiotherapy students professional identity on the edge of working life” Medical Teacher  28.3.270-2

Lindquist, I, Engardt, M., Poland, F., Garnham, E and Richardson, B. (2006) Development pathways in Physiotherapy  Physiotherapy Research International 11.3.129-139

Richardson, B., Shepstone, L., Poland, F., Mugford, M., (2005) “A Randomised Controlled trial and Cost Consequences Study Comparing Initial Physiotherapy Assessment and management with Routine practice for Selected Patients in an A&E Department” Emergency Medicine Journal 22.87-92 

Daykin, A and Richardson, B. (2004) "Physiotherapists' pain beliefs and their influence on the management of patients with chronic low back pain" Spine 29.7.783-795

Richardson, B., Lindquist, I., Engardt, M., and Aitman, C. (2002) "Professional Socialisation: students' expectations of being a physiotherapist" Medical Teacher 24.6.622-627