Leicestershire kidney health researchers shortlisted for British Medical Journal award
Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities
Hannah Young (physiotherapist), Alice Smith (team leader), Jaspreet Aulakh (medical student), Emma Watson (exercise scientist), James Burton (renal doctor), and Maurice Dungey (PhD student) demonstrating one of the specially-designed exercise bikes used f
A team of researchers from the University of Leicester, Leicester’s Hospitals and the University of Loughborough are in the running for a prestigious medical award.
The Leicester Kidney Exercise Team, who aim to develop effective methods of exercise for kidney patients, are one of four teams shortlisted for the British Medical Journal’s Sport and Exercise Team of the Year Award.
The award is a new category in the BMJ’s Group Improving Health Awards, which will be held at the Park Lane Hilton, London, on May 23.
The winner in their category will be decided by British Olympic kayaker Tim Brabants, Graham Holloway, a former orthopaedic coach to Great Britain’s Olympic team, and sport and exercise medicine consultant Dr Rick Seah.
The Leicester Kidney Exercise Team believe physical exercise can have a positive impact on patients with health issues associated with declining renal functions and renal replacement therapy.
They believe the provision of exercise advice and rehabilitation programmes for kidney patients lags behind that of heart and lung patients, and they aim to have appropriate exercise included in the care package for all kidney patients.
The researchers have introduced specially-adapted exercise bikes in a dialysis unit so patients can undertake supervised exercise while their blood is cleaned. Since September, the team have helped 30 dialysis patients to start and maintain a regular exercise programme during their thrice-weekly dialysis sessions.
The team are currently working with 38 pre-dialysis patients on a randomised trial of eight weeks of lower-limb resistance training.
Dr Alice Smith, Senior Exercise Research Scientist from the University of Leicester and Leicester’s Hospitals said: I’m delighted that the team has been nominated because it rewards the exceptional enthusiasm and dedication of the team members – they are a fantastic group to work with and give far more to the project than would normally be expected of their roles.
“We are also very grateful to our kidney patients, who are partners with us in this work and whose input is inspirational. The demand from our patients for the exercise opportunities we are developing shows that we are responding to a great need, and we aim to translate high-quality research into effective clinical practice.
“This nomination will help to boost the national profile of our work and raise awareness of the necessity of developing strategies for enabling exercise and physical activity for kidney patients.”
The work is part of the new NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Diet, Nutrition and Lifestyle, for which Loughborough University, University of Leicester, and University Hospitals Leicester were recently awarded £4.5 million by the Department of Health.