Professor Anne Forster

Professor Anne Forster


Anne Forster is a Professor of Ageing and Stroke Research, University of Leeds, based at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

In 2017 she was awarded as an NIHR Senior Investigator, which is for the most prominent and prestigious researchers funded by the NIHR and the most outstanding leaders of patient and people-based research within the NIHR Faculty.

Anne is also a NIHR Academic Training Advocate (with an emphasis on physiotherapy). She acts as an ambassador for a career in health research, promoting the NIHR training and career opportunities. Providing support to, and advocating for members of the non-medical professions who wish to begin or continue a research career. 


  • Professor

Research interests

Anne Forster is a physiotherapist with a long-standing interest in stroke and has undertaken a number of randomised trials and qualitative studies examining the effect of interventions to improve the longer-term outcome for patients and carers. Interventions evaluated include: the effectiveness of home physiotherapy, provision of specialist nurse support for community-based patients and their families, information/education provision in stroke unit settings. Anne is the chief investigator for two multi-centre trials in stroke rehabilitation, currently the largest in the UK.
She is the lead author for three Cochrane Reviews: Rehabilitation in long-term care, Information provision for stroke patients and their caregivers and Medical day hospital care for the elderly versus alternative forms of care.
Anne is currently developing a programme of work enhancing outcomes in care homes.
Current and recent research include:
  • Clarke D, Forster A, Tyson S, Burton L. Talking about recovery after stroke: How do we do it and how can we do better? Stroke Association Fellowship Postgraduate Fellowship £105,000; 01/09/2017-31/08/2020.
  • Forster A, Clarke D, Birch K, Carter G, Holloway I, Oxley S, Farrin A, Patel A, English C, Mead G, Lawton R, Fitzsimons C. Development and evaluation of strategies to reduce sedentary behaviour in patients after stroke and improve outcomes. NIHR, Programme Grants for Applied Research £3,013,121; 01/10/2017-31/09/2024 (84 months).
  • Clegg A, Goodwin V, Young J, Forster A, Farrin A, Hartley S, Hulme C, Clarke D, Cundill B, Wright P. Randomised controlled trial evaluation to determine the clinical and cost effectiveness of a Home-based exercise intervention as Extended Rehabilitation in Older people with frailty following acute illness or injury, including internal pilot and embedded process evaluation (HERO). NIHR HTA £2,038,930.19; 01/03/2017- 31/05/2021 (51 months).
  • Thyer N, Jackson C, Cocks K, Forster A, Hickson, L, Gailey L, Gardner R, Smith R, Bell, K, Dennison J. Feasibility of a RCT of the Active Communication Education (ACE) programme plus hearing-aid provision versus hearing-aid provision alone. 2016 NIHR, RfPB £249,935.00
  • Markus HS, O’Sullivan M, de Leeuw F, Hollocks MJ, Husain M, Morris R, Barrick TR, Forster A. Apathy in stroke and cerebral small vessel disease- towards better understanding and more effective treatment approaches. Stroke Association £445,413, 01/10/2015 – 30/09/2020 (60 months).
  • Singh S, Clague-Baker N, Robinson T, Carpenter C, Gilles C, Forster A. A feasibility study to identify attitudes, determine outcome measures and develop an intervention to inform a definitive trial that will determine the effectiveness of adapted cardiac rehabilitation for sub-acute stroke patients. The Stroke Association, £205,240; 01/01/14-31/12/2016.
  • Dean S, Forster A, Taylor R, Spencer A, James M, Allison R, Stevens S, Norris M, Poltawski L. Community-based Rehabilitation Training after Stroke (ReTrain): a pilot RCT. Stroke Association, £161,180; 01/01/2015-31/10/2017.
  • Clarke DJ, Forster A, Rodgers H, Tyson S, Drummond A, Palmer R, Prescott M. ReAcT: Why do stroke patients not receive the recommended amount of therapy? NIHR RfPB, £346,189; 01/09/2014-28/02/2017.
  • Forster A, Young J, Hewison J, House A, Hulme C, Hawkins R, Dickerson J, Richardson G, Bhakta B, Hartley S, Speed M, McKevitt C, Farrin A, Fay M, McEachan R, Foy R. Development and evaluation of strategies to provide longer-term health and social care for stroke survivors and their carers. NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research, £1,643,906; 01/10/2013-30/09/2018.
  • Lindley R, Langhorne P, Anderson C, Walker M, Pandian J, Pallab M, Langhorne P, Hackett M, Harvey L, Jan S; Murthy G, Sham BR, Forster A, Gudlavalleti V. Family-Led Rehabilitation after Stroke in India - The ATTEND Trial. NHMRC, £986,506; 01/07/2013-30/06/2017.
  • Forster A, Young J, Farrin A, Johnson L, Birch K, Hulme C, Godfrey M, Keighley L, Buttle L, Graham E, Firth J, Siddiqi N, Ellard D, Lawton R. Development and preliminary testing of strategies to enhance routine physical activity in care homes. NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research, £1,531,203; 01/05/2013-31/01/2018.
  • Young J, Forster A, Noonan K, Barber S, Kirby J, Speed M, Ozer S, Jones R. Investigation of screening tools for amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI). NIHR RfPB. £225,934; 03/12/2012-02/12/2015.
  • Rodgers H, Deverill M, Drummond A, Ford G, Forster A, Howel D, Laverty A, McKevitt C, McMeekin P, Price C, Shaw L, Cant R. A trial to evaluate an extended rehabilitation service for stroke patients. NIHR HTA, £1,795,544, 01/10/2012-30/09/2017.
  • Rodgers H, Price C, Shaw L, van Wijck F, Watkins C, Forster A, Langhorne P. Development and feasibility evaluation of a repetitive functional task practice (RFTP) programme for upper limb recovery early after stroke. The Stroke Association £157,923, 01/07/2011-30/06/2014.
  • Forster A, Young J. Junior Research Fellowship: Realist evaluation of the LoTscare trial. The Stroke Association, £85,000 & NIHR £20,000; 01/05/2009-31/04/2012.
  • Forster A, Mckevitt C, Young J, Farrin A, Clarke D, Kalra L, Smithard D . Process evaluation embedded within a randomised trial of caregiver training after stroke. NIHR Research for Patient Benefit, £249,633. November 2008 for 33 months.
  • Forster A, Young J, Bhakta B, Farrin A, Murray J, Knapp M, Patel A, House A, Hewison J, Bhakta B, Powell J. Steele V. Brady T Improving patient and carer centred outcomes in longer-term stroke care. NIHR Programme Grant, £1.9 million. October 2007 for 60 months.
  • Forster A, Young J, Farrin A, Kalra L, Knapp M, Nixon J, Patel A, Smithard D. A cluster randomised controlled trial of a structured training programme for caregivers of in-patients after stroke. MRC Clinical Trials Grant, £2,029,049. April 2007 for 53 months.
  • Young J, Forster A, Green J, Brooker D, Brown A, Cheater F, Farrin A, George J, Hulme C, Inouye I, Siddiqi N. An investigation of the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) system of care to prevent delirium. NIHR programme grant, £2m, from October 2009.


  • Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (FCSP) – 2011
  • PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education – University of Leeds, 1999
  • PhD A Randomised Trial of Stroke Rehabilitation for the Elderly in Bradford - Uof Bradford 1991
  • BA (Hons) Social studies (Class II Division 1) – University of Bradford, 1986
  • Member Chartered Society of Physiotherapy – Liverpool School of Physiotherapy, 1978

Student education

She is interested in supervising any area relating to stroke rehabilitation.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Academic Unit for Ageing and Stroke Research
  • Frailty and elderly care
  • Successful ageing

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>