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Yetunde Dairo joined Oxford Brookes in 2014 as a research student in the Department of Sport and Health Sciences. Her thesis title is 'Physical activity in adults with intellectual disabilities'.
I had physiotherapy students from Oxford Brookes University on clinical placement at the outpatient clinic where I previously worked and they seemed very positive about their experience at Brookes.
I‘d heard and read about the Movement Science group within the Department of Sport and Health Sciences at Brookes, in particular their research in the area of physical activity.
I was working as a lead physiotherapist in an NHS trust in Buckinghamshire.
I’ve settled in really well, my supervisors are very supportive and easy to work with. I feel fortunate to have them as supervisors.
In the UK, approximately 1.5 million people are living with intellectual disabilities (ID). This group of individuals have poorer health than their non-disabled peers with differences in health status that are avoidable. The cost of supporting an individual with an intellectual disability during his or her lifespan is £1.5 million in the UK. These costs are much higher than for non-ID individuals with many associated with an inactive lifestyle.
Despite clear guidance of the need for an active lifestyle people with ID appear to fail to achieve physical activity (PA) recommendations. This health inequality is compounded by a lack of good evidence of PA and by lack of information guiding people supporting PA in this group. This research will improve our understanding of PA levels and behaviour in order to inform risk factor identification for low PA and develop more targeted PA promotion within ID population.
My PhD is designed to determine PA levels in adults with ID. It will comprise of 3 studies with the first being a systematic review. The review will summarise the results of a systematic review of published scientific evidence on measurements of PA levels in adults with ID. It will form the basis, as well as informing the design of the other two studies, the first of which will be a methodological study investigating PA measures in pwID using an objective measure (accelerometry) and a physical activity questionnaire. The second one, a longitudinal study, will determine PA levels in a representative sample of adults with ID.
We expect the studies to establish a clear understanding of how physically active people with ID are compared to the non-disabled population; inform us about the measurement of PA in people with ID; and help improve our understanding of their physical activity/inactivity and its health related impact.
The best thing about being a research student is learning to be an expert in an area that has always fascinated me. As a physiotherapist I have always been passionate about improving physical activity levels, especially among minority groups. Therefore, I’m immersing myself and thoroughly enjoying the experience.
As well as working as a physiotherapist for many years, I have experience of teaching physiotherapy undergraduate students and after my PhD I would be looking to go back into lecturing and/or research.