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Dr Ben Darlow 

Senior Lecturer, 5th Year Module Convenor
Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice

profile_Ben_DarlowBackground and interests

Ben has been based in the Department since 2009 and was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in 2016.  He is currently involved in several research projects as well as undergraduate teaching, and is the fifth year Module Convenor in the Department.

Ben completed his undergraduate physiotherapy degree at the University of Otago in 1998, and his Master of Sports Physiotherapy at Curtin University (Perth) in 2002. He completed his PhD at the University of Otago in 2014. Ben was registered as a Musculoskeletal physiotherapy specialist in 2015.

Teaching activities

Ben is the fifth year Module Convenor in the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice.

He teaches sessions in both the 4th and 5th year undergraduate programmes, on the following topics:

  • Understanding and managing pain
  • Acute low back pain assessment and management in primary care
  • Osteoarthritis management in primary care

Ben is also a member of the Wellington Interprofessional Teaching Initiative (WITI) and he teaches interprofessional classes of health students as part of WITI’s activities

Research activities

Ben’s main research foci are the management of common musculoskeletal conditions in primary care and interprofessional education.

Back pain

Ben has previously explored practitioner and patient attitudes and beliefs related to low back pain and influences upon these. He has recently led a clinical trial and implementation studyexploring the feasibility and impact of implementing a new approach to explaining and managing back pain in general practice. A podcast interview with Ben which discusses his back pain research can be accessed here.

Ben has led the development of the Back Pain Attitudes Questionnaire (Back-PAQ). More information about the Back-PAQ can be found here.


As part of the Otago Research Collaboration for Knee Arthritis (ORKA), Ben is also leading a project to develop and test new information resources which aim to provide people with knee OA evidence-based information about the condition, the meaning of their symptoms, ways in which they can improve their joint function and quality of life, and services from which they may receive further support.

Interprofessional education

Ben has been involved in a number of studies evaluating interprofessional education activities. He is currently leading the Longitudinal Interprofessional (LIP) Study which is investigating changes in interprofessional attitudes and skills over the final year of health professional training and the first three years of professional practice. It will also explore if undergraduate interprofessional education influences these skills and attitudes or the career pathway of these graduates. This study involves participants from the disciplines of dentistry, dietetics, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, oral health, pharmacy, and physiotherapy.

Ben is a member of the University of Otago’s Pain and Arthritis research themes.

Professional roles

Ben is a member of the Physiotherapy New Zealand Professional Development Committee and the Interim Data Governance Group. Ben is a Specialist Assessor and Competency Assessor for the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand.