Honorary Professor Paul Watson B.Sc (Hons), M.Sc, FCSP, PhD

Honorary Professor Paul Watson


Department of Health Sciences
New Academic Unit
Leicester General Hospital
Gwendolen Road

Email: pjw25@le.ac.uk  




Musculoskeletal pain

Pain, work , and Vocational rehabilitation

Pain management

Ethnicity and pain

Sleep and chronic pain.




The relationship between sleep and Neuropathic Pain

Physical activity in chronic pain

A community intervention for low back pain related workloss

Evaluation of an early Physiotherapy intervention for preventing work loss

Workers and healthcare practitioners perceptions of working with low back pain.

Evaluation of the introduction of the NICE guidelines on the management of persistent low back pain.

Sleep disorders in low back pain; a comparison with other chronic health problems


  • Distinguished Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy October 2006
  • Clinical Advisor to NICE on the Low back Pain Guidelines
  • Executive Board of the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition
  • Educational Board of International Association for the Study of Pain
  • Musculoskeletal Editor Physiotherapy Journal
  • Editorial board of European Journal of Pain
  • Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
  • Visiting Professor Leeds Metropolitan University


  • February 2009 Keynote lecture Irish Faculty of Pain Medicine inaugural scientific meeting working with pain Dublin, Ireland.
  • November 2008 Samuel Lipton lecture, Liverpool Medical Institute. Work, Pain and Society
  • August 2008 Keynote lecture, Barriers and Bridges to successful return to work in chronic low back pain. International Association for the Study of Pain Congress, Glasgow, UK
  • March 2008 Keynote Practitioner Beliefs about back pain –do they affect outcome? New Zealand Pain Society, Auckland, NZ
  • March 2008 Keynote Barriers to return to work. New Zealand Pain Society, Auckland NZ
  • March 2008 Keynote. Vocational rehabilitation for benefit dependent patients – an integrated approach. New Zealand Pain Society, Auckland, NZ
  • November 2007 Keynote. A cognitive approach to the management of low back pain. 3rd World Congress on Low back and pelvic pain, Barcelona, Spain
  • September 2007 Biopsychosocial assessment and management – Masterclass. University of Alberta, Canada
  • June 2007 Keynote. Culture, ethnicity and pain. University College London, UK
  • May 2007 Keynote. Assessing and managing musculoskeletal pain in the workplace. Association of Physiotherapist in Occupational Health annual congress, London,UK
  • April 2007 Keynote. Cognitive behavioural management of low back pain. South African Back Pain Forum, Capetown, South Africa
  • March 2007 Professorial inaugural address: The Puzzle of Pain and disability, Leeds Metropolitan University UK
  • October 2006 Keynote, Returning low back pain patients to work, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Birmingham, UK
  • October 2006 The Patrick Wall Lecture, Annual Congress Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Birmingham 2006
  • June 2006 Wage compensation and treatment for low back pain. International Primary Care Low Back Pain Forum. Amsterdam, Netherlands


  • Student wishes to be annonymous
    Title of Thesis: Physical activity in Chronic Pain
    Funder: Libyan government student grant
  • Julia Bowey
    Title of Thesis: GP management of chronic low back pain
    Funder: States of Jersey, Department of Health and Social Security


  • Assistant Course director M.Sc Pain Management. Module leader Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation
  • Personal tutor M.Sc Pain Management
  • Supervision of assignments, marking of all assignments and examinations for M.Sc Pain Management. Physiotherapy and Rehabililtation
  • M.Sc. Pain Management, Research methodology
  • M.Sc in Pain Management Acute Pain Module



Main CJ and Watson PJ (1995) Screening For Patients At Risk Of Developing Chronic Incapacity Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 5:207-217.

Watson PJ (1995) Occupationally Orientated Rehabilitation For Unemployed Persons With Chronic Low Back Pain.  Physical Medicine Review 2: 4-6.

Main CJ & Watson PJ. (1996) What harms - Pain Behavior? Psychological And Physical Factors In The Development Of Chronicity. Bulletin: Hospital for Joint Diseases. 55; 4, 210-212.

Main CJ & Watson PJ. (1996) Guarded Movements: Development Of Chronicity. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain 4,(4), 163-170.

Watson PJ, Booker CK, Main CJ & Chen ACN. (1997) Surface Electromyography In The Identification Of Chronic Low Back Pain Patients: The Development Of A Flexion Relaxation Ratio. Clinical Biomechanics 12, (3): 165-171.

Watson PJ & Poulter ME. (1997) The Development Of A Functional Task Orientated Measure Of Pain Behaviour In Chronic Low Back Pain Patients. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. 9: 57-59.

Watson PJ, Booker CK & Main CJ. (1997) Evidence For The Role Of Psychological Factors In Abnormal Paraspinal Activity In Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain 5, (4): 41-56.

Johnson TW & Watson PJ. (1997) An Inexpensive Self-assembly Pressure Algometer. Anaesthesia 52: (11) 1070-1072.

Watson PJ, Main CJ, Waddell G, Gales TF, Purcell-Jones G (1998) Medically Certified Work Loss, Recurrence And Cost Of Wages Compensation For Back Pain: A Follow Up Study Of The Working Population Of Jersey. British Journal of Rheumatology  37 (1): 83-86.

Watson PJ, Chen ACN, Booker CK, Main CJ & Jones AKP. (1998). Differential Electromyographic Response to Experimental Cold Pressor Test in Chronic Low Back Pain Patients and Normal Controls. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain  6 (2) 51-64.

Harding VR, Simmonds MD and Watson PJ (1998). Physical therapy for chronic pain. Pain Clinical Updates. 6:3. 1-4.

Watson PJ. (1999). Non-physiological determinant of physical performance in musculoskeletal pain. Max M. (Ed) Pain 1999 – An Updated Review. Pp153-158. IASP Press, Seattle.

Main CJ & Watson PJ (1999) Psychological aspects of pain. Manual Therapy 4 (4) 203-215

Georgoudis G., Watson P.J., Oldham J.(2000) The development and validation of a Greek version of the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire. European Journal of Pain. 4 (3), 275-281.

Pomeroy VM, Frames C, Faragher EB, Hesketh A, Hill E, Watson PJ, Main CJ. (2000) Reliability of Post stroke shoulder pain in patients with and without aphasia and/or unilateral neglect. Clinical Rehabilitation, 14: 584-591.

Harding V, Watson PJ (2000)  Increasing Activity & Improving Function In Chronic Pain Management. Physiotherapy 86:12, 619-630

Koho P, Aho S, Watson PJ, Hurri H. (2001) Assessment of chronic pain behaviour: reliability of the method and its relationship with perceived disability, physical impairment and pain. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 33: 3, 128-132.

Georgoudis G, Oldham JA, Watson PJ (2001). Reliability and sensitivity measures of the Greek version of the short form McGill Pain Questionnaire. European Journal of Pain, 5:109-118.

Woby, S.R., Watson, P.J., Roach, N.K., Birch, K.M. and Urmston, M. (2002).  Does coping mediate disability in chronic low back pain patients presenting for physiotherapy?  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 84-B (Supp III), 48

Woby, S.R., Roach, N.K., Birch, K.M. and Urmston, M. (2002).  Do changes in psychological factors mediate chronic low back disability?  Rheumatology (Suppl), 41, 49

Peacock S. Watson PJ (2003) Ethnicity & chronic pain: considering the research problem. Psychology Post Graduate Quarterly.20: 6-9.

Peacock S. Watson PJ (2003) The psychology of pain. British Journal of Anaesthesia.

Peacock S. Watson P (2004) Ethnicity, pain and pain beliefs. Health Psychology Update.13:19-24.

Woby S,  Watson PJ.  (2004) Adjustment to chronic low back pain – the relative influence of fear avoidance beliefs, catastrophising and appraisals of control. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 42:761-774.

Woby S, Watson PJ, Roach NK, Urmston M. (2004) Are changes in fear-avoidance beliefs, catastrophizing, and appraisals of control, predictive of changes in chronic low back pain and disability? European Journal of Pain. 8: 201-210

Watson PJ, Booker CK, Moores L Main CJ. (2004) Returning the chronically unemployed with low back pain to employment.  European Journal of Pain. 8 (4) 359-369.

Watson PJ, Main CJ (2004) The influence of benefit type on presenting characteristics and outcome from an occupationally orientated rehabilitation programme for unemployed people with chronic low back pain. Physiotherapy. 90:4-11.

Moores L, Watson PJ. (2004) The Development of a Measurement Tool for the Assessment of Pain Behaviour in real time.  Physiotherapy.90: 12-18.

Crossman K, Mahon M, Watson PJ, Oldham, J, Cooper, RG. (2004) Chronic Low Back Pain-Associated Paraspinal Muscle Dysfunction is not the Result of a Constitutionally Determined Adverse Fiber-type Composition. Spine, 29; 628-634.

Latif RK, Watson PJ, Rowbotham DJ (2004) Ethnic difference in thermal pain responses between volunteers of South Asian origin and white British. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 93:4,617P.

Mullis R, Dziedzic K, Lewis M, Cooper V, Main C, Watson P (2004). Is video analysis of clinical interventions in treatment trials valuable? Experiences from a low back pain study. Rheumatology 2004; 43(4) (Suppl 2) ii86

Woby S, Watson PJ. (2005) Coping Strategy Use: Does It Predict Adjustment To Chronic Low Back Pain After Controlling For Catastrophic Thinking And Self-Efficacy For Pain Control? Journal Of Rehabilitation Medicine. 2005: 37 (2), 100 –107.

Koumantakis GA, Watson PJ, Oldham JA. (2005) Trunk muscle stabilization training plus general exercise versus general exercise only. Randomized controlled trial of patients with recurrent low back pain. Physical Therapy.2005; 85 (3) 209-225.

Koumentakis GA, Watson PJ Oldham JA. (2005) Supplementation of general endurance exercise with stabilisation training versus general exercise only. Physiological & functional outcomes of a randomised controlled trial of patients with recurrent low back pain. Clinical Biomechanics  20: 474-482

Woby S,  Roach NK, Urmston M, Watson PJ (2005) Psychometric Properties of the TSK-11: A Shortened Version of the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia. Pain 117;137-145.

Naik M, Pallett E, Thompson JP, Watson P, Maslowski P, Toogood L, Rowbotham D. (2005)  Comparison of an electronic speaking data recorder with the short form brief pain inventory in chronic pain patients.  British Journal of Anaesthesia 95 (4): 566-79.

Hay E, Main CJ, Watson PJ, Dziedzic K, Sim J, Croft PR. (2005) Comparison of physical treatments versus a brief pain-management programme for back pain in primary care: a randomised clinical trial in physiotherapy practice. Lancet 365; 2024-2030.

Watson PJ, Latif RK, Rowbotham DJ. (2005) Ethnic differences in thermal pain responses in healthy volunteers: a comparison of South Asian and White British subjects Pain 118; 194-200.

Teig SH, Peacock SM, Stevens L, Tordoff K, Maguire E, Watson PJ (2006) An audit of self- acupuncture for chronic musculoskeletal pain. Acupuncture in Medicine 24: 80-85.

Mullis R, Watson PJ, Main CJ (2006) Validation of Complex Interventions in a Low Back Pain Trial: Selective video analysis cross-referenced to clinical case notes. Contemporary Clinical Trials 27: 404-412

Greasley K, Patel S, Watson PJ (2007) The formation of Public Sector Partnerships: A case study examination of collaboration on a ‘Back to Work’ initiative. International Journal of Public Sector Management

Patel S, Greasley K, Watson PJ (2007) Barriers to rehabilitation and return to work for unemployed chronic pain patients: a qualitative study. European Journal of Pain. 11: 831-840.  

Woby SR, Urmston M., Watson PJ. (2007) Self-efficacy mediates the relation between pain-related fear and outcome in chronic low back pain patients. European Journal of Pain. 11: 711-718

Johnson RE, Jones GT, Wiles NT, Watson PJ, Torgerson JT, Macfarlane GJ (2007) Active Exercise, Education and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Persistent Disabling Low Back Pain: a randomised controlled trial.  Spine 32: 1578-585                                                                                               

Woby SR,  Urmston M, Watson PJ (2007) The relation between cognitive factors and levels of pain and disability in chronic low back pain patients presenting for physiotherapy. European Journal of Pain. 11: 869-877

Fernandez MI, Watson PJ, Rowbotham DJ. (2007) Effect of Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy on pain report in a laboratory model of acute pain. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 99: 266-269

Watson PJ. Soft tissue pain and Physical therapy. (2008) Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. 9:1. 27-28.

Watson PJ Bowey J, Purcell-Jones G, Gales G. (2008) General practitioner sickness absence certification for low back pain is not directly associated with beliefs about back pain. European Journal of Pain. 12: 314-320 

Woby S.R, Urmston M, Watson PJ. (2008).Outcome following a physiotherapy led intervention for chronic low back pain: The important role of cognitive processes. Physiotherapy 94: 115-124.

Patel S, Peacock SM, McKinley RM, Clark-Carter D, Watson PJ. (2008) General Practitioners’ experiences of managing chronic pain in a multicultural community - A qualitative study. Family Practice 25: 71-77.

Greasley K, Watson PJ, Patel S. (2008) The formation of public-public partnerships: A case study examination of the collaboration on a back to work initiative. International Journal of Public Sector Management 21:305-313

Savigny P, Watson PJ, Underwood M. (2009) Early Management of persistent non-specific low back pain: summary of NICE guidance. British Medical Journal BMJ 2009;338:b1805

Greasley K, Watson P, Patel S. (2009) The impact of organisational change on public sector employees implementing the UK Government’s “Back to Work” programme. Employee Relations. 31: 382-397.

Patel S, Peacock SM, McKinley RK, (2009) Clark-Carter D, Watson PJ. General Practitioners perceptions of the unmet needs for South Asian long term pain patients: A qualitative enquiry. Health Psychology. (in press)

Bowey- Morris J, Purcell-Jones G, Watson PJ. (2009) Test-retest reliability of the pain attitudes and beliefs scale (PABS) and sensitivity to change in a general practitioner population. Clinical Journal of Pain. (in press)

Coole C, Drummond A, Watson PJ. (2009). Assessing the feasibility of collecting health care resource use data from General Practices for use in an economic evaluation of vocational rehabilitation for back pain. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. (in press)

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