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Katy Hamana



Senior Lecturer: Physiotherapy

School of Healthcare Sciences


Research Interests:

I am interested in investigating and understanding exercise in neurological conditions as an environmental modifier to manage health and wellbeing.

In line with this, my research aims to gain insight into patient perceptions and experiences of their condition and physical activity, and use relevant theory to develop, underpin and evaluate targeted interventions to reduce inactivity in people with neurological conditions and ensure applicability and transferability from research to clinical practice.

I am a member of the European Huntington's Disease Network Physiotherapy Working Group ( As a chair of the group from 2014-2020 I led an international collaboration with the European Huntington's Association to develop the first online resource to support people with Huntington's Disease and those supporting people with Huntington's disease to participate in physical activity ( ).

My areas of teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level include exercise in neurological conditions, research design and methods, health behaviour change theory.

















Between 2010-2016 I coordinated and managed clinical trials of exercise in Huntington’s Disease. These included one national study with sites in Cardiff and Oxford, another with six sites across the UK and an international trial with five sites across the UK and Europe. These roles also included intervention delivery, working one-to-one with people with HD in community gyms and in their homes, developing protocols and standard operating procedures for data collection and intervention delivery, study monitoring, database development and management, training assessors and staff delivering the interventions, data analysis, contribution to funder reports and manuscripts for publication, organisation of dissemination seminars/conferences, Huntington’s Disease Association family days, and conference poster presentations.

I am currently leading the process evaluation for a large international (UK, US, Spain, Germany) randomised controlled trial of physical activity in Huntington’s disease; Physical activity and exercise outcomes in Huntington’s disease (PACE-HD). A recently completed research project as co-applicant (led by Dr Una Jones) was a collaboration funded by the Huntington’s Disease Association to develop a Physical Activity Tool in Huntington’s disease with the Cardiff Huntington’s Disease Physiotherapy Group and a number of international collaborators including physiotherapists of the EHDN PWG. As in integral member of the Cardiff HD group, I am named on the REF 2021 impact case titled ‘Physical Therapy to Improve Prognosis in Huntington’s Disease’.

I have demonstrated high quality REF returnable publications that are international and world leading and have collaborated across HCARE, the college of BLS, Cardiff Huntington’s Disease clinic, and external partners and organisations (European Huntington’s Disease Network, European Huntington’s Association; Huntington’s Disease Association of England and Wales; Huntington’s Disease Youth Organisation; European Huntington’s Disease Network physiotherapy working group (co-chair); Movement Disorders Unit, Tel Aviv Medical Centre, Israel; Teacher’s College, Colombia University, New York).

My PhD focussed on understanding physical activity participation for people with Huntington's disease across the stages of the disease so as to inform knowledge of development of appropriate, relevant physical activity interventions. This led to my involvement in developing the theoretical underpinnings for the PACE-HD intervention. My research interests include physical activity participation, experiences and behaviour in people with neurological conditions, particularly in dementia and Huntington's disease, intervention codesign with stakeholders, and evaluation of complex interventions in physiotherapy.


I currently teach, supervise and examine at pre-registration undergraduate, taught postgraduate and doctoral levels.

I am module lead for the postgraduate taught module Neurorehabilitation- a theoretical basis.

Teaching at BSc and MSc level includes research methods, research ethics, physical activity and exercise and behaviour change, and physical activity participation in neurological conditions.

2016-2020 - Admissions tutor for the BSc Physiotherapy Programme


Education and Qualifications

2018: PhD, Cardiff University. Thesis title: 'An exploration of the physical activity life cycle in Huntington's disease'.

2010: BSc Hons Physiotherapy, Cardiff University

2007: BSc Hons Anatomical Science, Cardiff University

Professional memberships

2019-present: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

2010-present: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

2010-present: Health and Care Professions Council

2016-present: Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology

Committees and reviewing

2022-present - Academic lead: HCARE Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Committee

2020-present: Member, HCARE School Research Ethics Committee

2014-2020: Co-chair, Physiotherapy Working Group of the European Huntington's Disease Network


Current supervision

Shaima Aljahdali

Shaima Aljahdali

Research student

Kevin Nicholas

Kevin Nicholas

Research student