Professor Kim Burton
firstname.lastname@example.org | 01484 472460
Kim is an occupational health and ergonomics consultant with a professorial appointment at the University. In 2011 he was made an OBE for services to occupational healthcare.
Having gained a diploma in osteopathy in 1968 he practiced in Huddersfield. He moved sideways to a career in research after studying for a PhD in biomechanics, ergonomics, and epidemiology related to back pain at Huddersfield Polytechnic, which he gained in 1987. Kim has worked with the university in various capacities ever since, including directorship of the Spinal Research Unit under the Centre for Health and Social Care Research.
Research & Scholarship
The main focus has been on back pain and other common musculoskeletal problems, with a special interest in occupational aspects and development of strategies and treatments to impact on work participation. Kim was a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners development group for the Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Acute Low Back Pain. He was also a member of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine group that prepared the Occupational Health Guidelines for the Management of Low Back Pain at Work, and a member of the European COST Action B13 committee for the development of European guidelines for back pain (chairing the sub-group that developed the European Guidelines for Prevention in Low Back Pain).
Kims research from 2000 onwards extended to looking at other common health problems. This has involved work for government departments such as DWP and HSE, through which he has contributed to major policy initiatives around the theme of work, health, and wellbeing. This has created an international profile in the occupational health field.
An additional area of research with policy implications has been contributing to the development of a suite of acclaimed public health and self-help booklets for people experiencing common health problems such as back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis. Working with the Association of British Insurers, Kims work has contributed to a better understanding of whiplash and how to manage the problem.
Clinical research involves randomised clinical trials, and Kim is regularly asked to consult on projects being conducted by colleagues at other universities, both at home and abroad.
- Work and health occupational health research and consultancy.
- Biomechanics. Ergonomics.
- Musculoskeletal disorders, psychosocial factors, sickness absence.
- Quantitative methods: randomised controlled trials, Cochrane systematic reviewing, epidemiology.
- Lab-based biomechanics and ergonomics studies.
- Public health and patient educational material.
- Questionnaire development.
- Training for health professionals and health case managers.
- Journal, book and report publication.
- Clinical guidelines development.
Successful bidding at international and national level e.g.
- European Commission
- British Council
- UK Government (e.g.HSE, DWP
- NHS R & D
- National charities
- Commercial organisations (e.g. ABI)
- OBE for services to occupational healthcare
- Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine
- Advisor to DWP, HSE, ABI
- Editor-in-chief, Clinical Biomechanics
- External examiner for PhDs in UK and overseas
- Partner, KendallBurton consulting - occupational health and training consultancy
- Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group - Advisory Board
- Advisor to HCML (Health Case Management Ltd)
- Collaborator on numerous clinical trials at other institutions
- 2008 BUPA foundation Health at Work Award, Management of work-relevant upper limb disorders. Burton K, Kendall N, Pearce B, Birrell L, Bainbridge C.
- 2007 Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians.
- 2006 Volvo lecture International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. Low back pain: prevent, cure or manage?. Bergen, Norway.
- 2005 BUPAfoundation Health at Work Award Highly Commended. The implementation of occupational health guidelines principles for reducing sickness absence due to musculoskeletal disorders. McCluskey S, Burton K, Main C.
- 2005 BackCare Research Award, presented by the Society for Back Pain Research, Leicester 2004. UK Back Pain Exercise and Manipulation (UK BEAM) Randomised Trial: Cost-effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. A Manca and M Underwood on behalf of the UK BEAM Trial Team.
- 2002 Creative Excellence Award; US International Film and Video Festival for Get Back Active (a video based on The Back Book) produced by Take3 Video, funded by BP Occupational Health, with expert medical input from Burton AK, Waddell G.
- 2001 BackCare Research Award, presented by the Society for Back Pain Research, Bristol November 2001. Occupational Health Guidelines for the Management of Low Back Pain at Work Evidence review. Waddell G, Burton AK.
- 2000 BUPAfoundation Health at Work Award, Occupational Health Guidelines for the Management of Low Back Pain at Work. Carter T, Birrell L, Waddell G, Burton AK.
- 1986 - ** Clinical Biomechanics - Editor-in-Chief
- 2003 - ** Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group - Advisory Board
- 2000 - ** Spine - Associate Editorial Board
Peer review activities undertaken for a range of biomedical journals.
Peer review activities for research proposals to domestic and international grant awarding bodies.
- 2012 - Atos Healthcare OHS National Training Event. Smarter rehab: all players onside NEC Birmingham, UK
- 2012 - Health and Wellbeing @ Work conference. Early rehab is smarter rehab. Birmingham, UK
- 2011 - ABI Motor Conference. Can the cost of whiplash claims be effectively reduced?. London, UK
- 2011 - WorkCover SA Annual Conference Staying Connected. Recovering better at work overcoming the obstacles. Adelaide Convention Centre, Australia
- 2011 - International Social Security Association: technical seminar Rehabilitation into the labour market: early rehab is smarter rehab. Stockholm, Sweden
- 2010 - Swiss Society of Rheumatology. Tackling musculoskeletal problems at work. Fribourg, Switzerland
- 2010 - Irish Society of Occupational Medicine. Tackling back pain at work: applying the psychosocial flags framework. Ballina, Ireland
- 2010 - NHS Plus annual conference Looking to the future. Back pain: read your patients flags. University of Warwick, UK
- 2009 - Institute of Occupational Medicine 40th Anniversary Seminar. Psychosocial Flags. Edinburgh, Scotland
- 2008 - Royal Society of Medicine joint meeting of Occupational Medicine section and The Society for Occupational Medicine. Vocational rehabilitation: what works, for whom, and when? London, UK
- 2008 - American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians - Twenty-first Annual Scientific Meeting. Work is good for your health. San Antonio, TX, USA
- 2007 - Royal Society of Medicine conference: Pathways to work: promoting a life in work. Is work good for your health and well being?. London, UK
- 2007 - EULAR 2007: Annual European Congress of Rheumatology. Pain, disability and work: the role of rehabilitation. Barcelona, Spain
- 2007 - HSE Northern Ireland conference - Putting Health Into Health and Safety. Management of work-relevant musculoskeletal disorders. Colerain, NI
- 2006 - UK Government launch of Is work good for your health and well being? London, UK
- 2005 - Concentra Health Services conference: Unveiling the occult in occupational medicine. Ergonomics to do or not to do? + Youll think it so till you make it so the power of beliefs. Keystone, CO, USA
- 2005 - 9th McKenzie Institute International Conference. Biomechanics v psychosocial + Educational strategies and management of LBP. Heraklion, Crete, Greece
- 2004 - American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians - Third Annual medical Evidence Conference. Occupational low back pain: its nature and management. Dallas, TX, USA
- 2004 - Beyond understanding? (launch of the UnumProvident Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research, University of Cardiff). Screening to identify people at risk of long-term incapacity. Cardiff, Wales, UK
- 2004 - Occupational Medicine at The Alamo. AADEP conference Nature of back pain: management of erroneous beliefs ergonomics, education or both?. San Antonio, Texas, USA
- 2003 - Body @ Work seminar: Werken aan RSI, rugklachten en bewengen!. Low back pain in occupational health care. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- 2002 - NIVA International Course on Occupational Ergonomics: Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders and Facilitating Return to Work. Guidelines for occupational low back pain and disability Bologna, Italy
- 2001 - Fourth International Conference on Prevention of Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (PREMUS). Workshop Systematic reviews in the field of musculoskeletal disorders at work. Amsterdam, NL
- 2000 - Spine in Action Conference. Managing Back Pain in the Workplace. Wellington, New Zealand (via live video link)
Get Back Active [a video based on The Back Book]. Produced by Take 3 Productions (originally for BP Occupational Health). London, The Stationery Office, 2002. Winner of 'Creative Excellence' award at the US International Film and Video Festival.
Research Degree Supervision
Patient-centred outcomes in the management of common health problems: not all health problems are medical problems.
Common health problems account for most sickness absence and long-term disability. Many of the usual treatments have been found relatively ineffective in clinical trials, yet patients often report satisfaction with treatment and with the practitioner treating them. Common health problems, characterised by strong psychosocial associations, are not well explained by a biomedical model. Perhaps patients derive benefits not covered by usual clinical outcomes; rather they may derive both health and social benefits from (effective) clinical encounters such as better understanding, coping skills and social support this may be important to the individual and society, and could influence future management options. Proposals are invited to explore demedicalised approaches to common health problems.
Helping people with common health problems stay at work.
Work is generally good for our health and wellbeing. Common health problems account for most sickness absence and long-term disability, but staying at work is generally therapeutic and preferable to long periods of sick leave. Beliefs and attitudes across society influence the decision whether to stay at work in the face of symptoms: myths abound. Getting all the players (worker, employer, healthcare and social contacts) onside and acting in a facilitative manner is fundamental to stay-at-work strategies, but how to achieve it is problematic. Proposals are invited to develop innovative interventions to aid work retention.
- Medical Advisory Board of HCML (Health Case Management Ltd)
- Task Force on Research (member): EuroSpine, the Spine Society of Europe
Teaching and Professional Activities
- Faculty member for back pain diploma course run by Eurospine, the Spine Society of Europe.
- Faculty member for Certificate in OH Case Management run by The At Work Partnership.
- Occupational health and return-to-work seminars delivered through KENDALLBURTON Consulting.