Dr Anna Anderson

Dr Anna Anderson


I am a Research Fellow in Qualitative Research with a background in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. After completing undergraduate degrees at the University of Cambridge in 2010 and Leeds Metropolitan (now Beckett) University in 2013, I worked as a clinical physiotherapist in a diverse range of settings. Contributing to systematic reviews and undertaking a Health Education England (HEE) Internship gave me a greater understanding of the vital role research plays in improving patient care. This encouraged me to pursue my research interests further.

I joined the University of Leeds in 2018 as a Research Associate in the School of Healthcare to work on a feasibility study investigating peer mentorship to support self-management of hip and knee osteoarthritis. Alongside that, I helped lead a qualitative study exploring patients’ perceptions of total ankle replacement and ankle fusion surgery.

In 2019, I commenced a HEE / National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship based in the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine (LIRMM). My mixed methods PhD project was focused on developing new website, the ‘Virtual Knee School’, to provide pre-operative education and a prehabilitation exercise programme for patients awaiting total knee replacement.

Since obtaining my PhD, I have been based in the Division of Primary Care, Palliative Care and Public Health within the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (LIHS). My main role involves working on IDEAS in Primary Care – a collaborative project led by Dr Heidi Siddle from LIRMM, which involves developing a new pathway of care to improve early identification of rheumatoid arthritis.

Research interests

My research interests include developing accessible and inclusive digital interventions to improve outcomes for people with musculoskeletal conditions. I am also interested in improving accessibility and inclusion in health research more broadly. My main methodological interests include qualitative research, mixed methods research and complex intervention development.

I combined these interests during my PhD by employing an evidence-, theory- and person-based approach to develop the Virtual Knee School. A key focus of my project was ensuring that the Virtual Knee School is accessible and inclusive for a diverse range of patients. An overview of my project, its findings and the Virtual Knee School is available on the NIHR Leeds Biomedical Centre YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mNJsD9XVMw


  • PhD Medicine
  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
  • BA (Hons) Preclinical Veterinary Medicine

Professional memberships

  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Student education

I currently contribute to teaching on musculoskeletal conditions for the Adult Nursing course in the School of Healthcare.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Division of Primary Care, Palliative Care and Public Health
  • Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine