Christopher Todd

Prof

Personal profile

Biography

Chris is Director of the NIHR Older People & Frailty Policy Research Unit (see PRU website) and Lead for  the Healthy Ageing Theme NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester (see ARC-GM website).  Chris led the Healthy Ageing Research Group in the School of Health Sciences until 2022. Chris is a NIHR Senior Investigator and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Chris read Psychology at the University of Durham and obtained BA, MA and PhD. He is currently Professor of Primary Care and Community Health (formerly Director of Research 2003-2013) in The School of Health Sciences. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of The British Psychological Society.

He has held and/or currently holds grants from the Department of Health and Social Care, National Health Service, Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health and Care Research, European Commission,  various research charities.  He was a member of the European Commission DG12 Expert Working Party on research into postural stability and fall prevention in the elderly population. He has reviewed for a wide range of research committees and charities both in UK and overseas and has sat on a number of funding panels in UK and Europe.

He wrote The World Health Organization’s (WHO) policy synopsis on the prevention of falls amongst older people. He was a member of the group which wrote the 2007 WHO Global Report on Falls Prevention and sat on the Task Force on Global Guidelines for Falls in Older Adults.

Research interests

Fall Prevention  Falling is very common amongst older people and is responsible for considerable disability and distress. Interventions such as exercise aimed at improving balance and increasing muscle strength can reduce falling amongst older people, but we still need to know a lot more about how to ensure such interventions are most effective. Much of Chris's work relates to identifying how to encourage uptake and adherence to promote effectiveness of interventions. Chris led the Prevention of Falls Network Europe and currently leads a number of projects related to fall prevention.  He also lead the ProFaNE team that developed the FES-I, a very widely used measure of fear of falling (see FES-I website).   His has also led work on interventions for people with visual impairments.  His current interest is in using smartphones and other technologies to detect, monitor, predict and prevent falls (see FARSEEING  and PreventIT) and using exergamiing to promote  strength and balance exercises. He was part of the EC's European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (see EC website1 and website2 ) and led the Prevention of Falls Network for Dissemination ProFouND.    He was on the Task Force on Global Guidelines for Falls in Older Adults published in Age and Ageing.  He is currently leading a number of projects on fall prevention in ARC-GM, and has prepared briefing papers on falls prevention and activity promotion for DHSC  and leads a Cochrane review of population based intervention  for falls and fall injuries.

Healthy Ageing, Resilience and Frailty  Chris directs the NIHR Older People and Frailty Policy Research Unit. a collaboration between the University of Manchester, Newcastle University and the LSE., providing evidence for policy to the  Department of Health and Social Care.

Cancer and Palliative Care A major area of interest is how to support people during their last illness so that they can have maximum quality of life and remain with their family and friends. Chris’ group have been investigating access to palliative care services and the way that community based palliative care services, nursing services and social care, can help people to remain at home when they are seriously ill. His most recent studies  have focused on supporting the family carers of people with palliative care needs, and the methodological challenges of palliative and end of life care research. He was  co-PI on the MORECare project and played a central role in the Cancer Experiences Collaborative CECo leading work on methdology.  He is a coinvestigator on the PiPS studies developing a prognosticator for palliative care.

Breast cancer amongst older women. Breast cancer is prevalent amongst older women but evidence shows that older women are less likely to receive surgery and other standard interventions than their younger counterparts. Chris works on a programme of studies with Dr Katrina Lavelle and Prof Nigel Bundred investigating aspects of the management of breast cancer. 

Integrating nutrition into the care pathway for colorectal cancer patients. Chris works with Dr Sorrel Burden on a programme that uses the MRC Framework/Guidance for developing complex interventions in this case using nutritional interventions for cancer. The first phase of the work involved qualitative interviews with people with colorectal cancer.  We are currently conducting a randomised controlled trial of a nutritional intervention in preoperative colorectal cancer patients.

COVID-19 Chris at on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) Social Care Working Group during the height of the pandemic contributing to a number of reports and briefings (see for example here). 


A description of my expertise is also held on the ResearcherID website

Teaching

Chris teachs on a number of courses in the School, including the BNurs. MRes and PhD programmes.

Chris has supervised many PhD students over the years and is always keen to hear from potential students in his areas of interest, although he is currently only taking on new students in the general area of healthy ageing. 

Methodological knowledge

Promoting positive ageing: The prevention of falls and fractures in older people (See the ProFaNE website). Outcomes of care. Age related inequalities in access to cancer treatments. See the FARSEEING website

The psychology of falling: Mechanisms to promote uptake and adherence to fall prevention interventions. Psycho-social consequences and sequellae of falls (fear of falling). See Prevention of Falls Network Europe (ProFaNE) website.

Stress amongst health care professionals: Surveys of stress in professional groups. Interventions and job redesign to reduce stress.

Research methods: Trial design, outcome measurement, quality of life, interfacing between quantitative and qualitative methods.   See the MORECare and CECo websites

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Areas of expertise

  • BF Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Older People
  • Falls Prevention
  • Health Services Research
  • Exercise Promotion

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing
  • Healthier Futures

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