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School of Health and Society

Dr Anita Williams



Since leaving a senior clinical post within podiatry in 1999 Anita has built upon this experience within her teaching, programme leadership and research roles in the School of Health Sciences. She is recognised nationally & internationally within both podiatry & rheumatology communities for research leadership in the application of qualitative methods within both foot health & health care research. She leads qualitative aspects within the Foot & Ankle Research Group, producing visible benefits to successful grant bidding (>£800k) [including a KTP] the mentoring of junior colleagues towards PhD by PW & post-doctoral work, & high quality research output/impact. She supervises & examines PhD students at the UoS & by invitation at other national and International universities.

Anita has consistently published in international ISI listed journals, with 50 peer reviewed journal publications since 2000, authored one book & contributed chapters to five books. She was returned to RAE 2008, REF 2014 (3* papers) and contributed to a REF impact case study that was identified as having ‘world leading’ elements.  She has been a keynote/ invited speaker at over 40 national/international conferences, for example, the highly prestigious Podiatry conference in New Zealand.


Anita is actively involved in external impact activities including the translation of research into practice & patient care via four key national/international practice guidelines, by being the academic lead for two professional groups & through contributions to evidence based materials used by three national patient organisations. Since 2008 she have been a member of the Arthritis Research UK Publications & Education Committee and reviews publications by Lupus UK.


Anita leads innovation in how research is embedded within UG & PG teaching at UoS & other national/ international Universities and led the approval of the first Pre-registration Masters in Podiatry Programme to be operational in the UK. She is now programme lead for this and module leader for the dissertation module. She also developed and now delivers the only professional body approved footwear training course in the UK.  Between 2015 and 2017 she was a member of the College of Podiatry Research and Development Committee and member of the steering committee that produced the professional body research strategy.


In recognition of professional leadership in research, practice and education, she was awarded the Fellowship of the College of Podiatry and also the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glas). She was also awarded gold in the Women’s Voice Awards 2018 for established excellence and most recently the prestigious Meritorious Award from the College of Podiatry.


Qualitative research methods; Research methods ; Rheumatology; footwear interventions; health behaviour; project and dissertation supervision; PhD student supervision.

Research Interests

Foot health interventions; peoples experiences of living with disease; people experiences of health interventions.

Qualifications and Memberships


Member of the College of Podiatry

Fellow of the Faculty of Podiatric Medicine - Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

Member of the Health and Care Professions Council

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow)

Academic member of the NW Clinical Effectiveness


Williams A.E, Rome K and Nester C.J. (2007) A clinical trial of specialist footwear for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology; 46(2):302-307

Williams A.E, Nester C.J and Ravey M.I. (2007) A qualitative investigation of rheumatoid arthritis patients’ experiences of therapeutic footwear- a qualitative investigation BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders; 8:104

Rome K, Chapman J, Williams A.E, Gow P, Dalbeth N (2010) Podiatry services for patients with arthritis: an unmet need New Zealand Medical Journal  5 March, Vol 123 No 1310;91-97 

Walmsley S, Williams A.E, Ravey M.I and Graham A.S. The rheumatoid foot: a systematic literature review of patient reported outcome measures Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2010, 3:12

McElhone K, Abbott J, Gray J, Williams A.E and Teh L-S. (2010) Patient perspective of systemic lupus erythematosus in relation to health-related quality of life concepts: a qualitative study. Lupus Dec;19(14):1640-7.

Silvester, R.N, Williams A.E, Dalbeth N and Rome K (2010) 'Choosing shoes': a preliminary study into the challenges facing clinicians in assessing footwear for rheumatoid patients Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2010, 3:24 

Williams A.E, Nester C.J, Ravey M.I, Kottink A, Morey-Klapsing G.(2010) Women's experiences of wearing therapeutic footwear in three European countries. J Foot Ankle Res Oct 8, 3:23

Williams A.E, Davies S, Graham A, Dagg A, Longrigg K, Lyons C and Bowen C (2011) Guidelines for the Management of the Foot Health Problems Associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis  Musculoskeletal Care; 9 (2) : 86–92    

Graham A.S  Hammond A and Williams A.E (2012) Foot Health Education for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis – the practitioner’s perspective – Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 5:2

Graham, A.S & Hammond, A & Walmsley, S & Williams, A.E (2012) Foot health education for People with rheumatoid arthritis: some patients’ perspectives'. Journal of foot & ankle research, 5(23).

Williams A.E and Graham A.S (2012) ‘My feet-visible but ignored…’ An interpretive phenomenological investigation into the experiences of people with Rheumatoid Arthritis Clin Rehabil. Oct; 26(10):952-9. 

Walmsley S, Graham A.S and Williams A.E (2012) Development of a Patient Reported Outcome Measure for the Assessment and Evaluation the Foot Affected by RA Journal of Epidemiology Journal of Clinical Epidemiology Apr;65(4):413-22 

Williams A.E, Hill L.A and Nester C.J (2013) Foot orthoses for the management of low back pain: a qualitative approach capturing the patient’s perspective Journal of Foot and Ankle Research;6 :1

Williams A.E, Graham A.S, Davies S, Bowen C.J (2013) Guidelines for the management of people with foot health problems related to rheumatoid arthritis: a survey of their use in podiatry practice. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research; 6:23

Williams A.E, Crofts G and Teh LS (2013) ‘Focus on feet’ - the effects of systemic lupus erythematosus: a narrative review of the literature. Lupus. Volume 22 Issue 10 September: 1017 - 1023.

Harrison-Blount M, Cullen M, Nester C.J and Williams A.E. (2014) The assessment and management of diabetes related lower limb problems in India-an action research approach to integrating best practice. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research:7:30 (18 May 2014)

Washington E.D, Williams A.E. (2014) An exploratory phenomenological study exploring the experiences of people with systemic disease who have undergone lower limb amputation and its impact on their psychological well-being. Prosthet Orthot Int. Nov 18.

Graham A.S and Williams A.E (2015) 'Foot health education for people with rheumatoid arthritis: 'A Game of chance…' A survey of patients' experiences’, Musculoskeletal Care. DOI: 10.1002/msc.1111

Graham AS and Williams AE Foot health education for people with rheumatoid arthritis – an online survey of UK podiatrists perceptions . Journal of Foot and Ankle Research (2016) 9:13

Williams AE, Ana Martinez-Santos, Jane McAdam and Christopher James Nester.Trial and error...’, ‘...happy patients’ and ‘ old toy in the cupboard’: a qualitative investigation of factors that influence practitioners in their prescription of foot orthoses. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research (2016) 9:11 DOI 10.1186/s13047-016-0142-9

Van Netten et al 2016 Communication techniques for improved acceptance and adherence with therapeutic footwear Prosthetics and Orthotics International 20161-4

Harrison- Blount M, Williams A.E, and Nester C.J. An action research approach to facilitating the adoption of a foot health assessment tool in India Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2015, 8:52

Cherry L, Alcacer-Pitarch B, Hopkinson N, LS Teh, EM Vital3, CJ Edwards, A Blake and AE Williams. The prevalence of self-reported lower limb and foot health problems experienced by participants with systemic lupus erythematosus: Results of a UK national survey Lupus 2016 1-7

Anderson, J, Williams, AE and Nester, CJ 2016, 'A narrative review of musculoskeletal problems of the lower extremity and back associated with the interface between occupational tasks, feet, footwear and flooring' , Musculoskeletal Care 2016 1-12.

Williams A.E, Blake A, Cherry L, Alcacer-Pitarch B , Hopkinson N, LS Teh, EM Vital, CJ Edwards, Patients’ experiences of lupus-related foot problems: a qualitative investigation. Lupus 2017 1-8

Graham AS, Stevenson J and Williams AE A survey of people with foot problems related to rheumatoid arthritis and their educational needs. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research (2017) 10:12

Nester, CJ, Graham, AS, Martinez-Santos, A, Williams, AE, McAdam, J and Newton, VA 2017, 'National profile of foot orthotic provision in the United Kingdom, part 1 : practitioners and scope of practice.' , Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 10 (35) .

Anderson, JR, Williams, AE and Nester, CJ 2017, 'An explorative qualitative study to determine the footwear needs of workers in standing environments' , Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 10 (41)

Anderson, JR, Nester, CJ and Williams, AE 2017, 'The effect of prolonged standing on the body and the impact of footwear hardness' , Footwear Science, 9 (sup1) , S67-S68.


Frecklington M, Nicola Dalbeth, Peter McNair, Peter Gow, Anita Williams, Matthew Carroll, Keith Rome Footwear interventions for foot pain, function, impairment and disability for people with arthritis: a systematic literature review Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism 2017

Nester CJ, Graham A., Martinez santos, A., Williams A. E., McAdam, J., Newton, V., Sweeny, D. & Walker, D. 2018. National profile of foot orthotic provision in the United Kingdom, part 2: podiatrist, orthotist and physiotherapy practices. J Foot Ankle Res, 11, 10.