Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Dr Helen French

PhD (NUI, RCSI), B. Physio, MSc. Physio, Dip. Stat, PgD HPE, MISCP

Photograph Dr Helen French Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy

Position
Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy
Telephone
+ 353 1 402 2258
Biography

Helen French qualified from UCD School of Physiotherapy, Dublin in 1992. She worked as a Senior Physiotherapist in Orthopaedics in the Meath Hospital, Dublin and subsequently in Tallaght hospital. She obtained a MSc. (Physiotherapy) in 1999 in TCD School of Physiotherapy, Dublin and a Diploma in Statistics in TCD in 2006. From 2001 she worked as a Clinical Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in Tallaght hospital before her appointment as Lecturer in Physiotherapy in the School of Physiotherapy, RCSI in 2004. She completed her PhD in 2011, funded by a HRB Fellowship for the Therapy Professions and a higher Diploma in Health Professions Education in 2015. In 2015, she was promoted to Senior Lecturer in RCSI School of Physiotherapy. Dr French was awarded a Fulbright-HRB Health Impact Scholar 2017-2018.

She is also the Ireland rep to the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT). She has held previous positions of Honorary Secretary of the ISCP and Chairperson of the ISCP Education and Professional Development standing committee and Chartered Physiotherapists in Musculoskeletal Therapy. She teaches on a number of postgraduate courses for physiotherapists in musculoskeletal therapy for hip and pelvic girdle pain and peripheral neurogenic dysfunction.

Research areas of interest

Hip osteoarthritis and intra-articular pathologies, pelvic girdle pain, lumbopelvic/hip movement dysfunction and muscle control, motion analysis and muscle activity measurement, psychometrics of outcome measurement and diagnostic accuracy of clinical tests

Research projects

2017 to date Title: Physiotherapy Management of Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS): an international survey of current physiotherapy practice. Research team: Dr Helen French and Ms Louise O’Connor, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI, Ireland, Dr Alison Grimaldi, Faculty of Health Science and Rehabilitation, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; Dr Stephanie Woodley, School of Biomedical Science, University of Otago, New Zealand; Dr Angela Fearon, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Australia.

2017 to date Implementation of ‘StartBack’ stratification for management of Low Back Pain - a pilot study (Funding HRB Summer Student Research 2017) Research team: Ms Caroline Treanor, Physiotherapy Dept, beaumont hospital, Dublin 9; Ms Mary McCallan, Physiotherapy Dept, Connolly hospital, Dublin 15; Dr Susan Murphy, University Hospital Waterford BackCare Programme; Ms Chloe Murnaghan, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI, Dr Helen French, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI.

2016 to date Title: Do features of Central Sensitisation exist in Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome (GTPS)? a case control study. Funding (RCSI Summer Student Research 2016) Research team: Dr Helen French, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI, Ms Mary McCallan, Physiotherapy Dept, Connolly Hospital, Dublin 15, Mr Chie Jong, School of Medicine, RCSI.

2016 to dateThe Role of Musculoskeletal Injection therapy for Shoulder pain
A: Effectiveness of a Physiotherapy-led Musculoskeletal Injection Therapy Clinic for patients with Shoulder Pain (Funding: RCSI Summer Student Research 2016)
B: Effectiveness of a Physiotherapy-led Musculoskeletal Injection Therapy Clinic for patients with Shoulder Pain (Funding: RCSI Summer Student Research 2017)
Research team: Ms Clare Gilsenan, Physiotherapy Dept, Beaumont hospital: Ms Vanessa Cuddy, Physiotherapy Dept, Beaumont Hospital; Ms Sarah Pyper, Physiotherapy Dept, Beaumont hospital; Jennifer Ashton, Physiotherapy Dept, Beaumont Hospital; Mr Hannan Mullet, Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery, Beaumont hopsital, Dr Paul O’Connell, Rheumatology Dept, Beaumont hospital, Ms Brid O’Donoghue, School of physiotherapy RCSI; Ms Anna Kern, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI, Dr Helen French, School of Physiotherapy RCSI.

2016 to date Title : Tests of Postural Control in Knee Osteoarthritis: A systematic review of measurement properties. Research team: Dr Helen French and Dr Dara Meldrum, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI, Mr Stephen O’Rourke (Physiotherapy Dept, Beaumont hospital), Professor Charlotte Hager, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, UMEA University, Sweden

2015 to date Title: Patterns of pain- persistence and pain-avoidance in people with Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP). Funding, RCSI Summer Student research. Research team: Ms Caroline Treanor and Professor Ciaran Bolger ( Beaumont hospital), Ms Nuala Murphy ( RCSI Student), Dr Helen French ( supervisor), RCSI School of Physiotherapy.

2015 to date Title: How common are features of Central Sensitisation and Neuropathic Pain in Osteoarthritis? Research team: Dr Helen French, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI; Ms Aisling O’Grady, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI; Ms Criona O’Donoghue, Ms Angela Reid and Ms Margaret McMahon, Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services, Harold’s Cross, Mr Ciaran Brennan and Ms Kate Cronin, Physiotherapy Dept, St James’ Hospital, Dublin 8, Mr Eanna O’Malley, Physiotherapy Dept, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9.

2015 - 2017 Title: Prevalence of Neuropathic pain symptoms in Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review. Project Team: Dr Helen French, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI. Dr Keith Smart, Physiotherapy Dept, St Vincent’s University hospital, Dr Frank Doyle, Division of Population Health Sciences (Psychology), RCSI.

2015 Title: The immediate effect of wearing foot orthotics in children with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) and their effects on tempero-spatial (TS) parameters of gait and dynamic balance. Funding, RCSI Summer Student research. Research team: Mr Paul McDermott (Physiotherapy Dept, Temple St Children’s University hospital), Ms Elsbeth Wolfe (RCSI Student), Dr Helen French ( supervisor), RCSI School of Physiotherapy.

2014 to date Title: Accuracy of Clinical Diagnosis compared with Diagnostic Ultrasound for Plantar Fasciitis. Funding; HRB Summer Student Research; Project Team: Dr Helen French, School of Physiotherapy , RCSI (Supervisor): Mr Ryan Fagan (student, RCSI), Ms Vanessa Cuddy, Ms Michelle Clarke, Ms Jenny Ashton Physiotherapy Department2, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.

2014 Title: Effect of flip-flops on lower limb kinematics during walking: A cross-sectional study using three-dimensional gait analysis. Funding RCSI Summer Student Research. Project Team: Dr Ailish Malone, Mr Damien Kiernan and Professor Tim O’Brien, Gait laboratory, Central Remedial Clinic, Mr Tom Sharpe (RCSI student), Dr Helen French, School of Physiotherapy

2012 - 2015 Title: Primary Care Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in Ireland: A qualitative study of current service provision : Funding : ISCP O'Driscoll O'Neill Research Bursary : Research team: Dr Helen French, School of Physiotherapy , RCSI ; Dr. Rose Galvin, HRB Centre for Primary Care, Department of General Practice, RCSI.

2012 to date Title: Cochrane Review: Adjunctive therapies in addition to exercise therapy for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee: Research team: Dr Helen French, School of Physiotherapy , RCSI ; Dr. Rose Galvin, HRB Centre for Primary Care, Department of General Practice, RCSI ; Dr. J. Haxby Abbott, Research Associate Professor, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand ; Professor Marlene Fransen, Associate Professor of Physiotherapy, University of Sydney, Australia.

2013 - 2014 Title: Prevalance and burden of Osteoarthritis amongst older people in Ireland: findings from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing study (TILDA) Research team: Dr. Helen French, School of Physiotherapy, RCSI; Dr. Rose Galvin, HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, Department of General Practice, RCSI; Professor Rose Ann Kenny, The Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing, Chemistry Extension, Trinity College Dublin.

July - August 2012 Title: A comparison of gluteal muscle activation and hip joint forces during therapeutic exercises in people with and without hip osteoarthritis Funding: HRB Summer Student Scholarship: Research team: Dr Helen French (Supervisor), Ms Xiaoli Zhang and Mr Andrew Cummiskey (RCSI Students), Dr Dara Meldrum, Dr Ailish Malone

July-August 2013 Title: The prevalence and patterns of clinical signs and symptons of low back pain in people with hip osteoarthritis : a cross sectional study : Funding: HRB Summer Student Scholarship : Research team: Dr Helen French (Supervisor), Mr Brendan O’Donnell (RCSI Student), Ms Vanessa Cuddy, Dr Paul O’Connell

July 2007 - June 2010 Title: The effectiveness of supervised exercise without and without manual therapy for hip osteoarthritis – a randomised controlled trial. Applicant: Ms H French: Supervisors (Professer Geraldine McCarthy and Dr Tara Cusack) Funding: Health Research Board Research Fellowships for the Clinical Therapies 2006

July - September 2006 Title: A follow-up study to evaluate the efficacy of open and closed chain quadriceps strengthening programmes in osteoarthritis of the knee. Funding: Health Research Board Summer Student Scholarship. Research team nt: Ms H French (Supervisor), Ms Lisa Waldron (RCSI Student), Ms Fiona Keogan, Ms Clare Gilsenan and Dr Paul O’Connell (Beaumont hospital).

Review panel memberships

  • Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (Reviewer and Associate Editor)
  • British Journal of Sports Medicine
  • International Journal of Sports Medicine
  • International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
  • Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy
  • Journal of Orthopaedics and Sports Physical Therapy
  • Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
  • Physiotherapy Practice and Research
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physical Therapy in Sport

Publications/presentations

French, H., and Galvin, R. 2017. Musculoskeletal services in primary care in the Republic of Ireland: an insight into the perspective of physiotherapists. Physiotherapy 103, 214-221.

French, HP., and Galvin, R 2017. Physiotherapy managers’ views of musculoskeletal physiotherapy service provision in Ireland: a qualitative study. Primary Health Care Research & Development (in press)

French H.P., Smart KM, Doyle F. Prevalence of neuropathic pain in knee or hip osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism.

McDaid M, Cleary OA, French H.P. The views and experiences of physiotherapists on physiotherapy service provision for people with neurological conditions in primary care in Ireland: A qualitative study; Physiotherapy Practice and Research, 2017 (accepted)

Sharpe T, Malone A, French H, D Kiernan D, T O'Brien T Effect of flip-flops on lower limb kinematics during walking: a cross-sectional study using three-dimensional gait analysis. Irish Journal of Medical Science 2016; 185; 2; 493-501.

Malone A , Kiernan D, French H, Saunders V, O'Brien T. Obstacle Crossing During Gait in Children With Cerebral Palsy: Cross-Sectional Study With Kinematic Analysis of Dynamic Balance and Trunk Control. Physical Therapy 2016; 96 (8), 1208-1215

French HP, Galvin R, Horgan NF, Kenny RA. Prevalence and burden of osteoarthritis amongst older people in Ireland: findings from The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). Eur J Public Health. 2015 (Epub ahead of print);

French HP, Galvin R, Abbott JH, Fransen M. (2016). Adjunctive therapies in addition to land-based exercise therapy for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD011915. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011915.

Malone A, Kiernan D, French H, Saunders V, O'Brien T. Do children with cerebral palsy change their gait when walking over uneven ground? Gait & Posture. 2015;41:716-721.

French HP, Huang X, Cummiskey A, Meldrum D, Malone A. Normalisation method can affect gluteus medius electromyography results during weight bearing exercises in people with hip osteoarthritis (OA): A case control study. Gait & Posture. 2015;41:470-475

Vance RC, Healy DG, Galvin R, French HP. Dual tasking with the Timed Up & Go test improves detection of risk falls in people with Parkinson Disease. Physical Therapy. 2015;95:92-102.

French HP, O'Donnell B, Cuddy V, O'Connell P. Clinical features of low back pain in people with hip osteoarthritis; A cross-sectional study. Physiotherapy Practice and Research. 2015;36:15-22.

French HP, Galvin R, Cusack T, McCarthy GM. Predictors of Short-Term Outcome to Exercise and Manual Therapy for people with Hip Osteoarthritis. Physical Therapy. 2014;94:31-39.

French HP, Cusack T, Brennan A, Caffrey A, Conroy R, Cuddy V, Fitzgerald OM, Gilsenan C, Kane D, O'Connell PG, White B, McCArthy GM. Exercise and Manual Physiotherapy Arthritis Trial (EMPART) for osteoarthritis of the hip: a Multicenter randomised controlled trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013;94:302-314.

Meldrum D,Herdman S,Moloney R, Murray D, Duffy D, Malone K, French H, Hone S, Conroy R, McConn-Walsh R.(2012) Effectiveness of conventional versus reality based vestibular rehabilitation in the treatment of dizziness, gait and balance impairment in adults with unilateral peripheral vestibular loss : a randomised controlled trial. BMC Ear Nose and Throat Disorders 12:3

French, HP., M. Fitzpatrick, FitzGerald O. Responsiveness of physical function outcomes following physiotherapy intervention for osteoarthritis of the knee: an outcome comparison study. Physiotherapy 2011; 97(4): 302-308.

French HP, Brennan, A, White B, Cusack T. Manual therapy for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee- A systematic review.Manual Therapy 2011; 16; 109-117

French HP, Dunleavy M, Cusack, T. Activation levels of gluteus medius during therapeutic exercise as measured with electromyography: a structured review. Physical Therapy Reviews, 2010, 15; 92-105.

French HP, Keogan F, Gilsenan C, Waldron L, O'Connell P Measuring patient satisfaction with exercise therapy for knee osteoarthritis: evaluating the utility of the physiotherapy outpatient survey. Musculoskeletal Care 2010; 8:(2) 61-67.

French HP, Cusack T, Brennan A, White B, Gilsenan C, Fitzpatrick M, O'Connell P, Kane D, Fitzgerald O, McCarthy GM. Exercise and manual physiotherapy arthritis research trial (EMPART): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009 Jan 19;10:9.

French HP and Dowds J (on behalf of the Dublin Academic Teaching Hospitals Physiotherapy CPD Project Group). An overview of Continuing Professional Development in Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy 2008: 94; 190-7

Dowds J and French HP. Undertaking Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in the workplace in physiotherapy.Physiotherapy Ireland 2008 : 29; 11-19.

French HP. Gilsenan C, Cusack T. Gluteal muscle dysfunction and the role of specific strengthening in hip osteoarthritis: a review. Physical Therapy Reviews 2008: 13; 333-344.

French HP. Physiotherapy management of osteoarthritis of the hip: a survey of current practice in acute hospitals and private practice in the Republic of Ireland. Physiotherapy 2007: 93: 256-260.

French HP. Use of Questionnaire-Based Outcomes for the Measurement of Activities and Participation in the Physiotherapy Management of Hip Osteoarthritis: A Review, Physical Therapy Reviews 2006: 273-288.

French H. Management of low back pain in a physiotherapy setting: a retrospective audit of practice, Physiotherapy Ireland 2006: 27: 3-12.

French H. Continuing professional development: A survey of Irish Staff grade physiotherapists, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 2006: 13 ;470-476.

French H. McGrane E and Cooke G. A prospective study of non-attendance to a physiotherapy out-patient department,Physiotherapy Ireland 2005: 26; 16-22.

French H. Thoracic Spine Pain-a physiotherapy perspective, Painwise 2004: 3; 3-7.

French H. A pilot study to determine patient satisfaction with a physiotherapy service to a fracture clinic, Physiotherapy Ireland 2002: 23; 7-14.

Postgraduate Student Supervision

Anthea Seager (2016-2017). MSc Research. Torticollis of infancy: the reliability of visual estimation in the assessment of cervical spine active rotation and head tilt by physiotherapists and the impact of clinical experience on that reliability.

Bláthnaid Mealy (2016-2018) MSc Neurology and Gerontology. Older patients and their family or carer’ perceptions towards physical activity and exercise on a specialist geriatric ward- a qualitative study

O’Regan L (2014-2016). MSc Neurology and Gerontology. The relationship between self awareness and cognitive and functional performance in acute stroke; a cross sectional study.

Manley M (2014-2016). MSc Neurology and Gerontology. Large Amplitude group exercise training for individuals with mild to moderate Parkinson’s Disease: a Pilot Intervention Study

Scally E (2014-2016). MSc Neurology and Gerontology. The relationship between performance on cognitive screening tools and functional abilities in individuals with dementia

Kirwan PD (2014-2019). PhD. The use of eccentric exercises and topical glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) in the treatment of midportion Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised placebo controlled trial.

O'Sullivan R (2014-2019). PhD (co-supervisor). The progression of crouch gait in diplegic Cerebral Palsy

Considine S (2012-2014). MSc Neurology and Gerontology. The concurrent validity of the 7-item BBS 3P with other clinical measures of balance in a sample of community dwelling adults.

McDaid M (2012-2014).. The views and experiences of physiotherapists on physiotherapy service provision for people with neurological conditions in primary care: a qualitative study.

Moloney R (2010-2012). MSc Neurology and Gerontology. The timed up and go test-does a dual task enhance its ability to identify Parkinson disease patients at risk of fall?

Clegg N (2010-2012) MSc. Neurology and Gerontology. Impact of frailty on functional recovery following rehabilitation in Intermediate Care.

Burns R (2010-2011) MSc. Sports and Exercise Physiotherapy (NUIG). A comparison of Two Lumbar Endurance Tests in Subjects with and without Chronic Low Back Pain.

Campion E (2008-2010). MSc Neurology and Gerontology. The minimum detectable change of the modified motor assessment scale in an acute stroke population

Carroll A (2008-2010). MSc Neurology and Gerontology. Physical activity levels and the barriers associated with exercise in community dwelling adults with previous Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)

Professional Activities

  • Member of the European Region of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (ER-WCPT) Education Matters Working group
  • Chairperson of Chartered Physiotherapists in Musculoskeletal Therapy (CPMT) Clinical Interest group of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP)
  • Committee member of the ISCP International Affairs standing committee
  • Chairperson of the Rehabilitation and Therapy Research Society (RTRS)
  • Chairperson of the Partnership of Academics and Clinicians in Therapy (PACT)
  • Level 2 member of the Chartered Physiotherapists in Musculoskeletal Therapy (CPMT)- Clinical Specialist Musculoskeletal Therapy.
  • Member of the RCSI Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) Annual Scientific Conference committee - 2015, 2016 and 2017. Conference Co-Chair in 2016