Getting to know… Abi Hall

Qualifying as physiotherapist nearly 20 years ago, most of my career has focused on working in the field of rehabilitation with older people – indeed that’s where my passion really lies. In 2016 I ventured into the wonderful world of “research” and wanted to take my clinical experience working with older people and apply it to developing the evidence base – particularly for those people with dementia. My training taught me little about how to treat people with dementia and my research has shown that many other physiotherapists experience similar challenges treating people with dementia. I completed my PhD in 2019 and then returned to work in clinical practice during the Covid-19 pandemic working with rehabilitation and urgent care teams – to try and keep people out of hospital and help support timely discharge of patients where able. Treating patients in primary care and community settings has been my role for the last ten years, so my research interests lie in these settings too.

During my fellowship I will build on work I undertook during my PhD and develop an intervention designed to improve the management of people with dementia following hip fracture. The project will involve working with patients, family members as well as clinicians who are experienced in treating people with dementia. As a researcher, the opportunity to develop your own research is a real privilege – although at times quite daunting – but the opportunity to continue the work that I’m passionate about is amazing! If I can make even a small difference to improve the management of people with dementia I will be delighted! I’m particularly excited to become a member of APEx and learn about the other great work that is being undertaken in primary care.

Outside of work, I’m probably known as being a little obsessed with my dogs – indeed the wonderful world of Zoom/Teams means that a lot of people have met the dogs in various conference calls! The dogs like to make their points known – or at least let everybody know that the postman has arrived! When not trying to “talk to” the postman, Max is happiest sleeping under my desk keeping my feet warm!

Max, hiding under the desk


Abi’s University of Exeter profile

Head over to the APEx website to find out more about our team and research