Professor of Health and Ageing
I am a Professor of Health and Ageing at the University of Bedfordshire. My research focuses primarily on frailty and sarcopenia, with an emphasis on geriatric screening for these conditions, particularly cultural differences with respect to ageing that could influence the effectiveness of screening tools.
Following on from functional screening, I am also actively researching methods that can be used to slow down or even reverse frailty and sarcopenia after they have been identified, based on physical activity. In addition to frailty and sarcopenia, I am also developing a series of physical activity intervention studies to improve life for people with dementia, with the form of the activity potentially based on cultural factors.
Prior to joining the University of Bedfordshire, I was a Professor of ICT for Health at the University of Technology of Troyes, in France. During this time, my research was focused screening for physical frailty, but with looking particularly at the development of ICT-based tools to automate the screening process to detect frailty early enough, while the condition is still reversible.
- Habilitation à diriger de la recherche (HdR) / Accreditation to Direct Research, Université de Technologie de Compiègne (2006)
- PhD, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 2000
Current research activities
- Functional geriatric screening to identify older people at risk of falling and frailty: should cultural differences be taken into consideration?
- Collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur, Asian Centre for Medical Education, Research, and Innovation
- Development of an instrumented geriatric screening system for initial diagnosis of sarcopaenia
- Collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur, Asian Centre for Medical Education, Research, and Innovation
- Postgraduate research students on the project: Brajesh Kumar Shukla, Charlotte Burton
- Frailty screening in an acute setting
- Collaboration with Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust
Postgraduate research supervision
Director of Studies
- Samson Ojo (PhD). The impact of workplace physical activity tailored to age, gender and ethnicity on cardiometabolic risks and productivity.
- Ann Mani (PhD). Development of a culturally-adapted physical activity programme for older Indians with dementia.
- Charlotte Burton (MSc). Use of the Five-Times-Sit-To-Stand test as a screening tool for sarcopenia.
- Charlotte Poynter (MSc). Does regular participation in a dementia-friendly golf programme improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and their carers?
Member of Supervision Team
- Brajesh Kumar Shukla (PhD): Development of an instrumented geriatric screening system for initial diagnosis of sarcopaenia (Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur)
- Josh Foster (PhD): Acetaminophen, cyclooxygenase, and non-febrile thermoregulation: Is there cause for concern?
- Prasanna Bohara (PhD). Does music therapy improve the quality of life of care home residents with dementia and reduce caregiver burden?
- David Shepherd (MSc). Comparison of advanced and amateur equestrian bodily positioning during equitation.
- Supervision team: Dr Rachael Cubberley
- Liam Rabbitte (MSc). The effects of kinesiology taping of the shoulder on the velocity and accuracy of the tennis serve.
Selection of recent journal articles
- Duchêne, J., Hewson, D.J., Rumeau, P. Modified bathroom scale and balance assessment: a comparison with clinical tests. Springerplus, 2016: 5: 1-8.
- Vermeulen, J., et al., Measuring grip strength in older adults: comparing the Grip-ball with the Jamar dynamometer. J Geriatr Phys Ther, 2015, 38: p 148-153.
- Hewson D, et al. Validation of balance-quality assessment using a modified bathroom scale. Physiol Meas, 2015, 36: p. 207-218.
- Bedaf, S.M.A., et al., Which activities threaten independent living of elderly when becoming problematic: inspiration for meaningful service robot functionality. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 2014. 9: p. 445-452.
- Chkeir, A., et al., Estimation of grip force using the Grip-ball dynamometer. Med Eng Phys, 2013. 35(11): p. 1698–1702.
Selection of recent conferences
- Bassement, J.N.C., Shukla, B.K., Yadav, S., Vijayvargiya, V., Mathur, A., Hewson, D.J. Prevalence of frailty in an Indian community-dwelling population. Indian Ageing Congress, New Delhi, India, 9-11 November 2016.
- Bassement, J.N.C., Shukla, B.K., Yadav, S., Vijayvargiya, V., Mathur, A., Hewson, D.J. Screening for fall-risk in an Indian community-dwelling population. Indian Ageing Congress, New Delhi, India, 9-11 November 2016
- Bassement, J.N.C, et al. Does functional geriatric screening to identify older people at risk of falling need to be culturally specific? 3rd International Congress on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, New Delhi, India, 27-29 November, 2015.
- Welsch, M.A., et al. Unlocking vascular barriers to improved functional capacity in the elderly: a report from the PRIME trial. The Physiological Society Topic Meeting - Ageing and Degeneration: A Physiological Perspective, Edinburgh, Scotland, 10-11 April, 2015.
- Welsch, M.A., et al. Unlocking musculo-skeletal barriers to improved functional capacity in the elderly: a report from the PRIME trial. The Physiological Society Topic Meeting - Ageing and Degeneration: A Physiological Perspective, Edinburgh, Scotland, 10-11 April, 2015.
Future research directions
I am currently developing a research programme for which collaboration is welcome. Projects that fall under this programme include:
- Development of an Indian-specific frailty screening tool based on the Fried phenotype model
- Culturally adapted physical activity for older Indians with dementia
- Does regular participation in a dementia-friendly golf programme improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and their carers?
I have also held a number of additional responsibilities, including:
- Member of the Committee of the French Society of Technologies for Autonomy and Gerontechnology (SFTAG) since 2009 including the position of General Secretary from 2009-2010.
- Co-President of the SFTAG Conference, 2009
- Member of the committee piloting the research theme CaVeHRIS (Intelligent Sensors, Clothes, Homes, Networks for Health), which is part of the Joint Research Group of the CNRS and INSERM 2008-2014.
- Member of several academic societies, including:
- The Physiological Society
- IEEE, Engineering and Medicine in Biology Society
- International Society of Gerontechnology
- Reviewer for many international journals
MSc Advanced Nursing Studies
- Unit Leader for two units and lecturing contributions on one unit
- Dissertation: Systematic Literature Review (Unit Lead)
- Evidence Based Healthcare Practice (Unit Lead)
- Global Healthcare Perspectives
MSc Specialist Practitioner Community District Nursing
- Lecturing contributions on two units
- Advancing Palliative and End of Life Practice
- Service Improvement Project in District Nursing
Previous teaching experience
University of Bedfordshire
- University of Technology of Troyes
- Ergonomics and human-machine interfaces (taught in French)
- Biology for Engineers (taught in English and in French)
- Exercise Physiology (taught in French)
- Project Management (taught in English and in French)
- ECE Engineering Institute, Paris
- E-Health (taught in English)
In addition to my academic activities I have always enjoyed participating in sports. As an unfortunate consequence of ageing, I no longer play rugby, but I currently continue to play both tennis and golf. I have been seriously bitten by the golf bug and am striving to achieve a scratch handicap before turning 50.
When I'm not playing or thinking about golf, I enjoy good food, particularly cheese, wine, and real ales. I am also passionate about India, where I have made over 30 visits in the last 10 years.
Professor David Hewson
Institute for Health Research / School of Healthcare Practice
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
University of Bedfordshire
M: +44 (0)7525 616645