Dr Carole Paley

Dr Carole Paley


I originally studied Leisure Studies and then Sports and Exercise Science and Sports Medicine in both Leeds and Sheffield and obtained a M.Med Sci from Sheffield University. Following a period of working in sports coaching development and lecturing in sports science and biomechanics, I studied to become a Physiotherapist, qualifying in 1995. After following junior physiotherapy rotations I became a specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapist at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

Whilst working in the NHS I became very interested in research, particularly in the field of pain, and in 2007 I was appointed Research Manager at Airedale, eventually becoming Head of Research and Innovation. During this time, I obtained my PhD in 2013 studying part-time in the Centre for Pain Research at Leeds Beckett University. My research programme was on acupuncture for cancer induced bone pain in adults. Since then I have been involved in synthesising research evidence, conducting systematic reviews and writing papers on non-pharmaceutical interventions for pain. I am a Cochrane Author and have acted as a PhD external examiner.  

From September 2021, I briefly worked on the NIHR-funded LOCOMOTION long-covid study as Project Manager before moving to my most recent appointment as Research Fellow in Palliative Care. I am working on the RESOLVE study looking at interventions for distress in patients with cancer.  I am also assisting with a systematic review on conditioned pain modulation and helping to update guidance on the management of neuropathic pain. I have recently been collaborating with Leeds Beckett University, looking at the meaning of pain through an historical lens to try and unravel the problem of persistent (chronic) pain.


  • Research Fellow RESOLVE study

Research interests

Pain research, with particular emphasis on non-pharmaceutical pain relief, palliative care and the use of sport and exercise as prevention or alleviation of chronic diseases.

Synthesis of research findings and the effective and the effective use of evidence-based practice.

Painogenic environments with an historical lens.


  • PhD
  • MMed Sci Sport and Exercise Medicine
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Biomechanics
  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research

Professional memberships

  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • British Pain Society

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • St Gemma's Academic Unit of Palliative Care
  • Division of Primary Care, Palliative Care and Public Health