Lead Research Practitioner

Division: Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Cathleen Hunter (Grad Dip, BSc (Hons) is a Lead Research Practitioner in the Firefly Research Unit in the Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies Division.

Cathleen Hunter is an experienced physiotherapist, educator and researcher. She has worked in clinical practice with children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families for over 20 years. Cathleen has maintained a senior clinical role (highly specialist physiotherapist) whilst working as a Lead Research Practitioner at QMU. Her research focusses on disabled children’s participation and inclusion within their home, school and community, and supporting collaborative communication between therapists and school staff.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy 1982 -present
  • Health and Care Professions Council 1982 -present
  • British Association of Bobath Trained Therapists 1998 – present
  • Association of Paediatric Physiotherapists 1992 - present

Professional Social Media:

Ms Hunter has focused on investigating how therapists and education staff support children with disabilities to participate in school, home and community. Ms Hunter’s research has involved extensive collaboration with health and education providers leading to partnerships and joint working nationally and internationally.

Active Research Interests:

  • Current research is focused on understanding and improving participation for children who have disabilities. This research aims to develop robust assessment and intervention tools around the participation for school age children.  The Model of Human Occupation is a key focus for this.

Research Methods:

  • Systematic Review, Realist Synthesis, Psychometrics, Rasch Analysis, Assessment/Intervention Development.

Supporting health and education practitioners to develop advanced skills in inclusive education and collaborative working.

Interdisciplinary teaching for education and allied health professionals.


Elected Regional Member, Scottish Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (APCP)