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Professor Rees has two main research themes aimed at improving the treatments and care of orthopaedic patients: SURGICAL SKILLS RESEARCH which is aimed at improving the delivery of treatment. ORTHOPAEDIC SHOULDER RESEARCH aimed at improving the national treatments of orthopaedic shoulder patients in both primary and secondary care.

Surgical Skills Research

With most surgical interventions the surgeon is the major factor responsible for patient outcome. The acquisition of surgical skills especially in minimally invasive surgery is a crucially important determinant of patient outcome. The selection of surgeons, skills learning, simulation and competence are all areas that will become more important due to working time restrictions on surgical training. Professor Rees and his group are leaders in this field of research and have set up the Oxford Orthopaedic Simulation and Education Centre (OOSEC). Project themes now include: 

  • Improving surgical performance using surgical simulation studies.
  • Development of surgical skill assessment tools including a wireless objective assessment device for measuring surgical skills .
  • Learning curve studies with protocol and guideline development for learning and training.
  • Performance studies based on experience and operative numbers.
  • Talent Identification - to aid surgical selection processes
  • Transfer validation studies to investigate the true impact on patient outcome of simulation training in orthopaedics. 

Orthopaedic Shoulder research

Shoulder pain and loss of shoulder function are very common in the UK, with 4% of people visiting their GP each year. With more and more patients now referred to hospital specialists for surgical treatments, it is important to know which treatments are suitable and what actions need to be taken for a good and fast recovery.

The Oxford team has been involved for many years in running national surgical shoulder trials and studies in secondary care. Professor Rees is now also working in close collaborations with academic primary care colleagues in the primary care departments of Oxford and Keele to help run large scale national primary care studies in shoulder pain. 

Professor Rees has also just been awarded a commissioned grant by the NIHR HTA to run an epidemiology study investigating the best treatment for first time traumatic shoulder dislocations.

Professor Rees has now authored and co-authored a number of national shoulder patient treatment pathways and is leading research into ‘electronic’ collection of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) in order to improve NHS patient informatics, outcome and decision making for the shoulder patients.

Major clinical research projects/trials

Secondary Care

  • NIHR HTA funded ‘UKUFF Trial’
  • ARUK funded ‘CSAW Trial’
  • NIHR HTA funded ‘Treatment of first time traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation’ (UK.TASH-D Study)

Community Care

  • RCTRCT - Steroid Injection for Shoulder Pain (Early Subacromial Injection Study).

Working with patients

We believe in working with patients to develop better care solutions for all.

Professor Rees has led and delivered a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership to identify the national Top Ten Research Priorities in 'Surgery for Common Shoulder Problems', which involved both patients and clinicians working together. Read it here.

Through collaborations with the Departments of Primary Care and funding from Arthritis Research UK and the Oxford Biomedical Research Unit, we have developed and are assessing Technology Enhanced Patient Information (TEPI) to aid combined decision making with patients.

Selected publications

Working with patients

Related research themes