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Contact Details

+64 3 474 0999 ext 58615 Mob +64 (0)27 289-0863
Research Professor
Department of Surgical Sciences (Dunedin)
PhD(Otago) DPT(MGH) MScPT(St Aug) DipGrad(Otago) FNZCP
Research summary
Musculoskeletal clinical epidemiology, management of osteoarthritis
Research Higher Degree student supervision
  • Fellow, New Zealand College of Physiotherapy
  • Member, Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI)
  • Member, Council of Science Editors
  • Member, World Association of Medical Editors
  • Member, International Society of Physiotherapy Journal Editors
  • Member, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • Member, Physiotherapy New Zealand
Musculoskeletal conditions, osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal physiotherapy


Professor Haxby Abbott’s research focuses on the management of common musculoskeletal conditions.

His research is based in the disciplines of clinical epidemiology, outcomes research, and health technology assessment. Projects have included:

  • Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of exercise therapy and manual therapy interventions for hip and knee osteoarthritis
  • Measurement properties of outcome measures in clinical practice
  • Accuracy and validity of clinical examination procedures
  • Physiotherapy interventions for chronic plantar heel pain
  • The prognosis of low back pain
  • The design of a computer program for the semi-automated analysis of spinal segmental motion

His research is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, Lottery Grants Board, Arthritis New Zealand, and Physiotherapy New Zealand. His osteoarthritis research led to collaboration with the Southern District Health Board, with whom he led the initiation, development, and evaluation of the “Joint Clinic”, delivering an innovative practice model for the chronic care management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, funded by the National Health Board.

Professor Abbott is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) and the New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy.

Professor Abbott was awarded the Carl Smith Medal and Rowheath Trust Award by the University in 2014, and a University of Otago Early Career Award for Distinction in Research in 2012. In 2010 Haxby was awarded a prestigious Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship by the Health Research Council of New Zealand. In 2006, he was the first New Zealander to earn Fellowship of the NZ College of Physiotherapy.


Filbay, S. R., Ferreira, G. E., Metcalf, B., Buchbinder, R., Ramsay, H., Abbott, J. H., Darlow, B., … Hinman, R. S. (2024). Prioritisation of clinical trial learning needs of musculoskeletal researchers: An inter-disciplinary modified Delphi study by the Australia & New Zealand musculoskeletal clinical trials network. BMC Medical Education, 24(1), 735. doi: 10.1186/s12909-024-05732-4 Journal - Research Article

Ribeiro, D. C., Wilkinson, A., Gava, V., Lamb, S. E., & Abbott, J. H. (2024). Patients' perspectives on planned interventions tested in the Otago MASTER feasibility trial: An implementation-based process evaluation study. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy, 101086. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2024.101086 Journal - Research Article

Ribeiro, D. C., Lamb, S. E., & Abbott, J. H. (2024). Mediators of the effects of exercise and manual therapy for people with knee and hip osteoarthritis: A secondary, exploratory analysis of the MOA trial. Osteoarthritis & Cartilage Open, 6, 100431. doi: 10.1016/j.ocarto.2023.100431 Journal - Research Article

Pryymachenko, Y., Wilson, R., Abbott, J. H., Dowsey, M., & Choong, P. (2023). The long-term impacts of opioid use before and after joint arthroplasty: Matched cohort analysis of New Zealand linked register data. Family Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmad112 Journal - Research Article

Ribeiro, D. C., Lamb, S. E., & Abbott, J. H. (2023). Moderators of the effects of exercise and manual therapy for people with knee and hip osteoarthritis: A secondary, exploratory analysis of the MOA trial. Proceedings of the New Zealand Manipulative Physiotherapists Association (NZMPA) Biennial Conference. (pp. 25). Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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