Dawn originally got her first degree in Human Sciences at University College London in 1990 and her PhD in Human and Applied Physiology (Strength, Power and Functional Ability of Healthy Older People) and graduated in 1995. She worked at the Human Performance Laboratory at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore and then at University College London before becoming the first recipient of the Research into Ageing Queen Mother Research Fellowships. She undertook her fellowship at St Mary's Paddington and specialised in exercise interventions to reduce falls. She then moved into practice by becoming a Falls Researcher in the NHS at Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth Health Authority. She then took on the role of Scientific Co-ordinator of the EC funded ProFaNE (Prevention of Falls Network Europe) project at the University of Manchester. She is a commissioned author for the World Health Organisation and the Department of Health. She also runs training courses to move research into practice with allied health professionals and fitness instructors.

Management/Administrative Responsibilities

  • Guest Professor at Umeå University, Sweden

  • Chair Local Organising Committee and Scientific Committee for the 8th World Congress on Active Ageing 2012 Glasgow

  • Lead 'Later Life' Research Group, Institute of Allied Health Research

  • Member 'Sports and Healthy Active Living' Group, GCU

  • Member 'Commonwealth Games Legacy Research Group', Consortium

Teaching Responsibilities

Lecturing on falls prevention, exercise to improve balance, exercise in heart failure and reducing sedentary behaviour in older people within a number of Masters modules within the Masters Framework (Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Nursing)

PhD Completions

  • Jennifer Muhaidat, Physiotherapist (Jordan Govt) 2009-2012. GCU. "Clinical dual task tests and risk of falls in community dwelling older adults"

  • Helen Hawley, Sports Science (Part Time) (MRC Studentship) 2008-2012. Manchester University. "The role of the exercise instructor in older adults' uptake and adherence to exercise classes"

  • Emma Stanmore, Nurse (Part Time) (ARC fellowship) 2007-2012. Manchester University. "The incidence of falls, prevalence of fear of falling and fall risk factors in adults with rheumatoid arthritis"

  • Maria Horne, Nurse (Univ Manchester funded) 2003-2007. Manchester University. "Attitudes and Beliefs to the Uptake of and Adherence of Exercise and Physical Activity in 60 – 70 year olds"

PhD Supervision
  • Calum Leask, Exercise Scientist (GCU funded) "Using lifelogging technology to empower older adult to harness their salutogenic drive" 2012-present.

  • Evangelia Petropoulou, Social Worker (GCU funded )"Developing a Risk of Injury and Risk of Fall Injury Assessment Tool in Community-Based Adults with Learning Disabilities" 2011-present.

  • Megan Lloyd, Physiotherapist (GCU funded) "Effects of chair based exercise in frailer stroke survivors" 2011-present.

  • Juliet Harvey, Physiotherapist (GCU funded) "Breaking sedentary behaviour patterns in older people" 2011-present.

  • Stephen Uzor, Computer Scientist (MRC funded) "Visualising biomechanical feedback in motivation for home exercise"

Research Interests
2013-2016 MRC LLHW - Seniors USP: Understanding Sedentary Patterns - £570k. PI: Skelton. Co-Is: Deary, Benzeval, Wyke, Chastin, Dall, Greig, Mutrie, Fitzsimons, Gray, Sattar, Gill, Starr, Mead (GCU, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham). 36 months. Ongoing.

2013-2016 European Commission: ICT PSP 6: Thematic Network – ProFouND - Prevention of Falls Network for Dissemination - €1 million. PI: Todd. Co-Is: Skelton, Becker, Helbostad and 22 EU partners (Manchester, GCU, Robert Bosch Krankenhaus, Norworgian Institute of Technology plus others). 36 months. Skelton leads WP2: Website and production of a Falls Prevention App for health professionals. Ongoing

2013-2015 Chief Scientists Office (Scotland) - Physical activity for non-ambulatory stroke survivors living at home: developing a feasible and acceptable intervention - £104k. PI: van Wijck. Co-Is: Skelton, Williams, Mead (GCU, Edinburgh). 28 months. Ongoing.

2011-2013 MRC LLHW - Going Outdoors: Falls, Ageing and Resilience (Go Far) - £248k. PI: Ormerod. Co-Is: Newton, Skelton, Pearce, Codinhoto, Ward-Thompson, Phillips, Aspinall, Nyman, Ballinger (Salford, GCU, Edinburgh, Swansea, Bournemouth, Southampton). 24 months. Skelton co-leads WP1: Hot spots for outdoor falls, with Pearce. Ongoing. 2010-2014 MRC - Promoting Physical independence by involving users in rehabilitation through dynamic visualisations of movement data. £1.0 million (Rowe, MacDonald, Ballinger, Skelton, Baille, Uni. Strathclyde, Glasgow School of Art, GCU). Start date 1 Jan 2010, 42 months. Ongoing.

2010-2012 National Osteoporosis Society (Brooke-Wavell, Iliffe, Masud, Gage, Skelton & Dinan, Univ Loughborough, UCL, Derby, Surrey, GCU) – Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two primary care exercise interventions on bone health in older people £64,288 over 2 years. Completed. 2009 Thomas Pocklington Trust - Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Environmental / Behavioural Interventions in Reducing Falls in Older People with Visual Impairment (Ballinger C, Howe T, Skelton D, Neil F) (GCU) £8167 over 4 months. Completed.

2008-2010 Chief Scientists Office, Scotland – The Feasibility of a pedometer based walking programme in combination with a physical activity consultation in Scottish adults aged 65 years and over in a primary care setting - £130,358 (Mutrie N, Fitzsimons C (Uni. Strathclyde), Granat M, Skelton D, Grant M (GCU). Completed.

2007-2013 Health Technology Assessment Programme HTA – ProAct65+: A multi-centre cluster trial in primary care comparing a community group exercise programme with home based exercise and with usual care for people aged 65 and over.- Principle Investigators: University College London and University of Derby –£1.5 million (Iliffe S, S See-Tai S, Skelton D, Kendrick D, Dinan D, Masud T, Oliver D, Morris R, Gage H, Bowling A, University of London, University of Derby, University of Reading). Ongoing.

2008-2009 Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS– Evaluation of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Falls and Bone Health Strategy. £35,000 (Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University). Completed.

Future Interests

Interested in future research on physical activity or exercise interventions in dementia, heart failure, diabetes, stroke. Also interested in the role of vision, lower urinary tract symptoms and feet in falls risk and activity avoidance.

External responsibilities

  • Chair: UK Branch of Is-PAPOFF (International Society for Physical Activity in the Prevention of Osteoporosis, Falls and Fractures);

  • Chair: Local Organising Committee and Scientific Committee for the 8th World Congress on Active Ageing 2012;

  • Chair: REFINE research trial steering committee.

  • Research Board Committee Member: National Osteoporosis Society

  • Board Committee Member: British Geriatric Society Falls and Bone Health Section; National Coalition for Active Ageing; ProFaNE (Prevention of Falls Network Europe);

  • Steering Committee Member: ICAA (International Coalition on Active Ageing); Expert Working Group on UK and Global Physical Activity Guidelines, British Heart Foundation and World Health Organisation; NES & QIS National Falls Training Programme; NOS nutrition and lifestyle forum, National Osteoporosis Society; BSG Scotland;

  • Associate Editor of Journal of Ageing and Physical Activity (JAPA)

  • Journal Reviewer for 13 journals

  • Grant reviewer for 12 charities and organisations

Recent Publications

Journal Papers
Horne M, Skelton DA, Speed S, Todd C. Perceived barriers to initiating and maintaining physical activity among South Asian and White British adults in their 60s living in the United Kingdom: a qualitative study. Ethnicity & Health, 2013. DOI: 10.1080/13557858.2013.814762. Skelton DA, Howe T, Ballinger C, et al. Environmental and behavioural interventions for reducing physical activity limitation in community-dwelling visually impaired older people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD009233. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD009233.pub2.

Stevens Z, Barlow C, Kendrick D et al. Effectiveness of general practice-based exercise promotion for older adults: a systematic review. Primary Health Care Research & Development. Mar 18:1-12. [Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1017/S1463423613000017 Stanmore E, Oldham J, Skelton DA, et al. Risk factors for falls in adults with rheumatoid arthritis: A prospective study. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013 Feb 22. doi: 10.1002/acr.21987. [Epub ahead of print].

Uzor S, Baillie L, Skelton DA, Rowe PJ. Falls prevention advice and visual feedback to those at risk of falling: study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial. Trials 2013, 14:79 doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-79.

Muhaidat J, Kerr A, Evans JJ, Skelton DA. Exploring Gait-related Dual Task Tests in Community-dwelling Fallers and non-faller: A pilot study. Physiotherapy Theory & Practice, 2012. In press. Print Aug 2013, Online early Mar 2013.

Muhaidat J, Kerr A, Evans JJ, Skelton DA. The test-retest reliability of gait-related dual task performance in community-dwelling fallers and non-fallers. Gait Posture. 2012 Nov 9. doi:pii: S0966-6362(12)00384-0. 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2012.10.011. [Epub ahead of print].

Stanmore E, Oldham J, Skelton DA, et al. Fall incidence and outcomes of falls in a prospective study of adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care & Research online early access DOI: 10.1002/acr.21892. Brovold T, Skelton DA, Bergland A. The Efficacy of Counselling and Progressive Resistance Home- Exercises on Health-Related Quality of Life and Function after Discharge from a Geriatric Day-Hospital. Arch Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2012. 55(2):453-9.

Mutrie N, Doolin O, Fitzsimons C et al. Increasing older adults' walking through primary care: Results of a pilot randomised controlled trial. Family Practice 2012; doi: 10.1093/fampra/cms038.

Horne M, Skelton DA, Speed S, Todd C. Attitudes and beliefs to the uptake and maintenance of physical activity among community-dwelling South Asians aged 60-70 years: A qualitative study. Public Health. 2012; 126(5):417-23.

Whitehead S, Nyman S, Skelton DA, et al. The quality of websites offering falls related advice to older members of the public and their families: a systematic style review. Health Informatics Journal. 2012; 18 (1): 50-65.

Perry L, Kendrick D, Morris R, et al. Completion and Return of Fall Diaries Varies With Participants' Level of Education, First Language, and Baseline Fall Risk. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012: 67A(2): 210-214.

Hawley H, Skelton DA, Campbell MC, Todd CJ. Are the attitudes of exercise instructors who work with older adults influenced by training and personal characteristics? J Aging Phys Act. 2012; 20: 47-63.

Billis E, Strimpakos N, Kapreli E, et al. Cross-cultural validation of the Greek version of the Functional Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I) in Greek community-dwelling older adults. Disabil Rehabil. 2011; 33 (19): 1776-1784.

Howe TE, Rochester L, Neil F, Skelton DA, Ballinger C. Exercise for improving balance in older people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD004963. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004963.pub3.

Tierney S, Marras M, Skelton D, et al. What can we learn from patients with heart failure about exercise adherence? A systematic review of qualitative papers. Health Psychol. 2011; 30 (4): 401-410.

Muhaidat J, Kerr A, Rafferty D, Skelton DA, Evans JJ. Measuring Foot Placement and Clearance during Stair Descent: Technical Report. Gait & Posture, 2011; 33: 504-506. IF 2.743

MacMillan F, Fitzsimons C, Black K, et al. West End Walkers 65+: A randomised controlled trial of a primary care-based walking intervention for older adults: Study rationale and design. BMC Public Health 2011, 11:120

Muhaidat J, Skelton DA, Kerr A, et al. Older adults' experiences and perceptions of dual tasking:. British Journal of Occupational Therapy 2010; 73(9): 405-412.

Iliffe S, Kendrick D, Morris R, Skelton D et al. Multi-centre cluster randomised trial comparing a community group exercise programme with home based exercise with usual care for people aged 65 and over in primary care: protocol of the ProAct 65+ trial. Trials; 2010; 11: 6-10 [Highly accessed].

Nicolai S, Benzinger P, Skelton DA, Aminian K, Becker C, Lindemann U. Day-to-Day Variability of Physical Activity of Older Adults Living in the Community. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity 2010;18, 75-86

Horne M, Skelton D, Speed S, Todd C. The influence of primary health care professionals in encouraging exercise and physical activity uptake among White and South Asian older adults: experiences of young older adults. Patient Education and Counseling 2010;78;97-103

Horne M, Speed S, Skelton DA, Todd C. What do community dwelling Caucasian and South Asian 60-70 year olds think about exercise for fall prevention? Age and Ageing 2009;38: 68-73

Zijlstra A, Ufkes T, Skelton DA, Lundin-Olsson L, Zijlstra W. Do dual tasks have an added value over single tasks for balance assessment in fall prevention programs? Gerontology 2008;54:40-49

Skelton DA, Todd C. Prevention of Falls Network Europe: A Thematic Network aimed at introducing good practice in effective falls prevention across Europe. Three years on. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions 2007;7(3):273-278

Skelton DA, Dinan SM, Campbell MG, Rutherford OM. Tailored Group Exercise (Falls Management Exercise - FaME) reduces falls in community-dwelling older frequent fallers (an RCT). Age and Ageing 2005;34: 636-639.

Jørstad-Stein EC, Hauer K, Becker C, Bonnefoy M, Nakash RA, Skelton DA, Lamb SE. Suitability of physical activity questionnaires for older adults in fall prevention intervention trials: a systematic review. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. 13 (4); 461-481.

Nandy S, Parsons S, Cryer C, Underwood M, Rashbrooke E, Carter Y, Eldridge S, Close J, Skelton D, Taylor S, Feder G, on behalf of the falls prevention pilot steering group. Development and preliminary examination of the predictive validity of the Falls Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT) for use in primary care. Journal Public Health 2004;26(2):138-43

James L, Onambele G, Woledge R, Skelton D, Woods D, Eleftheriou K, Hawe E, Humphries SE, Haddad F, Montgomery H. IL-6–174G/C genotype is associated with the bone mineral density response to oestrogen replacement therapy in post-menopausal women. European Journal Applied Physiology 2004;92: 227–230

Skelton DA, Kennedy J, Rutherford OM. Asymmetry in Muscle Strength And Explosive Power Amongst Community Dwelling Frequent Fallers And Non-Fallers Aged Over 65 . Age and Ageing 2002;31: 119-125

Ballinger CB, Neil F, Howe T, Skelton DA, Palmer S, Gray L. A Qualitative Evidence Synthesis of the Views and Experiences of Older People with Visual Impairment about Interventions to Reduce Falls. Report to the Thomas Pocklington Trust. 2009.

Skelton DA, Neil F. An Evaluation of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Falls and Bone Health Strategy, Report to the Reseach Assessment Directorate of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. 2009.

Book Chapters
Skelton DA, Dinan SM, Laventure RM. Exercise Prescription for Older People. In: AÑO GERONTOLÓGICO, Fundació Institut de l'Envelliment, Barcelona. 2010.

Skelton DA, Dinan SM. Ageing and older people. In: Buckley JP, ed, Exercise physiology in special populations. Advances in Sport and Exercise Science. Elsevier Books: Edinburgh, 2008; pp 161-223. ISBN 978 0 443 10343 8

Onambele-Pearson G, Skelton DA. Exercise and Bone Health. In: Lanham-New S, O'Neill T, Morris R, Skelton D, Sutcliffe A (eds). Managing Osteoporosis. Oxford: Clinical Publishing, 2007; pp 151-168. ISBN 1 904392 73 3

Skelton DA, Blundell A. Exercise and Cardiovascular Health. In: Lanham-New S, O'Neill T, Morris R, Skelton D, Sutcliffe A (eds). Managing Osteoporosis. Oxford: Clinical Publishing, 2007; pp 137-149. ISBN 1 904392 73 3

Dinan S, Skelton D, Malbut K. Aerobic Endurance Training In: Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults. Eds. Jones J and Rose D. Human Kinetics Books, Champaign, Illinois, USA, 2004. Pp 191-210. ISBN: 0736045139


  • 2004 AGILE, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists working with Older People, Certificate of Recognition: Category 2: Distinguished service in clinical / management / educational practice

  • 2003 The 4th International Conference Falls and Postural Stability, London, UK, Best Poster Prize

  • 1999 Imperial College School of Medicine/Research Into Ageing Prize

  • 1997 Research Into Ageing Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Research Fellowship (Foundation recipient)

  • 1995 EVIAN health progress award


Keynote Invited Lectures:
Over 40 Keynote Invited lectures in UK, EU25 and EEA, USA, Taiwan & Canada.

Invited Lectures:
Over 70 Invited Lectures in UK, EU25 and EEA, USA & Canada. Invited Workshops: Over 20 Full Day workshops (20-30 people, full day didactic teaching) in UK, EU25 and EEA

Workshop / Symposium Moderator:

2009 10th International Conference on Falls & Postural Stability Blackpool, UK
2009 CORE conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, Gerontology parallel session Glasgow, UK and Satellite Conference
2008 British Geriatrics Society Falls and Bone Health Symposium Glasgow, UK
2008 CORE conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, Gerontology parallel session Glasgow, UK
2008 9th International Conference on Falls & Postural Stability York, UK
2007 8th International Conference on Falls & Postural Stability Birmingham, UK
2006 1st European Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Vienna, Austria
2005 6th International Conference on Falls & Postural Stability Manchester, UK
2005 7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics Lisbon, Portugal and Traumatology
2004 British Heart Foundation Annual Conference Aston Villa, UK

Chair of Sessions at Conferences:
2008 Berzelius Symposium 77: Falls prevention Swedish Soc. Medicine & Royal Soc. Medicine, Stockholm
2008 National Falls Conference British Geriatric Society Falls and Bone Section, York
2008 East Midlands and Trent Falls Symposium Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham
2007 National Falls Conference British Geriatric Society Falls and Bone Section, Manchester
2006 Preventing falls in hospitals and nursing homes Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), London
2005 East Midlands and Trent Falls Symposium Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham