Skip to Content
Exit Menu
Dr Neil OConnell

Dr Neil OConnell
Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy


Neil is a Senior Lecturer in the Physiotherapy Division of the Department of Clinical Sciences. He leads the post-graduate module Principles and Practice of Evidence Based Healthcare, an under-graduate module on Research Methods and also teaches on clinical musculoskeletal Physiotherapy modules.

Neil's research interests focus on the evidence-based management of persistent pain and includes primary research and  systematic reviews and he has publ;ished extensively in this area. He has been closely involved with the Cochrane Collaboration since 2010, has authored a number of Cochrane reviews and is a member of the editorial board of the Cochrane Pain, Palliatvie and Supportive Care (PaPaS) group. He is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Pain, the official journal of the American Pain Society. He is also Senior Commissioning Editor for the international pain science blog

Recently Neil was a member of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) development group that produced the 2016 guideline for low back pain and sciatica, and was a specialist committe member of the NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee that developed the NICE Quality Standards for low back pain and sciatica.

Neil is am currently the research lead for the Physiotherapy Division at Brunel University London.

Qualifications: PhD, MSc, BSc(Hons), PGCert


Committee Responsibilities:

Physiotherapy Division lead for the Research Excellence Framework exercise

Administration Responsibilities:

  • Physiotherapy Division Research Lead
  • Module Leader
    • PH2600 Research Methods BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
    • HH55019 Principles and practice of evidence based healthcare (MSc Neurorehabilitation, Physiotherapy, PPhysician Associate)

Other Responsibilities:

  • Clinical visiting
  • Personal Tutoring

External Activities:

Member of the editorial board of the Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care (PaPaS) review group.

Current member of the guideline development for the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline "Management of  low back pain and sciatica".

Senior commissioning editor and contributer to the science blog “Body in Mind”. This blog represents an international collaboration of researchers with an interest in chronic pain, perception and the brain and aims to present current research in a format that is accessible and fun for the lay-reader.

The blog can be found here: and my blogposts here:

If you're interested in pain research then you really ought to check it out....

Teaching Interests:

Chronic pain, evidence based practice, musculoskeletal physiotherapy

Newest selected publications

Norris, M., O'Connell, N., Boniface, G., Ghandhi, V., Kirtley, S. and Williams, E. (2018) 'What evidence is used to underpin the design of strength-based exercise interventions evaluated in randomised controlled trials for rheumatoid arthritis? A systematic review protocol'. BMJ Open, 8 (9). pp. e024127 - e024127. ISSN: 2044-6055 Open Access Link

Journal article

O'Connell, NE., Marston, L., Spencer, S., DeSouza, LH. and Wand, BM. (2018) 'Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for chronic pain'. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2018 (3). pp. CD008208. ISSN: 1469-493X Open Access Link

Journal article

O'Connell, NE. and Ward, SP. (2018) 'Low Back Pain: What Have Clinical Guidelines Ever Done for Us?'. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 48 (2). pp. 54 - 57. ISSN: 0190-6011

Journal article

Cook, C., O'Connell, NE., Hall, T., George, SZ., Jull, G., Wright, AA., et al. (2018) 'Benefits and Threats to Using Social Media for Presenting and Implementing Evidence'. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 48 (1). pp. 3 - 7. ISSN: 0190-6011

Journal article

Miller, C., Williams, M., Heine, P., O'Connell, NE. and Williamson, E. (2017) 'Current practice in the rehabilitation of complex regional pain syndrome: A survey of practitioners'. Disability and Rehabilitation, 41 (7). pp. 1 - 7. ISSN: 0963-8288 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(58)