Associate Professor David Nicholls

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Associate Professor

Email: david.nicholls@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9925-9810

Links to relevant web pages:

Academic appointments:

  • Associate Professor, Auckland University of Technology (2000 - ongoing)
  • Senior Fellow, Health Education Academy (2016 - ongoing)
  • Associate Head of School, Auckland University of Technology (2016 - 2018)
  • Head of Department, Auckland University of Technology (2011 - 2014)
  • Senior Lecturer Above the Bar, Auckland University of Technology (2010 - ongoing)
  • Postgraduate Head, Auckland University of Technology (2009 - 2011)
  • Programme Leader (Academic), Auckland University of Technology (2002 - 2005)
  • Senior Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology (2000 - 2009)

Qualifications:

  • PhD, University of South Australia
  • MA, University of Central England
  • Graduate Diploma, Wolverhampton School of Physiotherapy

Overview:

Dr. Nicholls is an Associate Professor in the School of Clinical Sciences at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand. He is a physiotherapist, lecturer, researcher and writer, with a passion for critical thinking in and around the physical therapies. David is the founder of the Critical Physiotherapy Network, an organisation that promotes the use of cultural studies, education, history, philosophy, sociology, and a range of other disciplines in the study of the profession’s past, present and future. David’s own research work focuses on the critical history of physiotherapy and considers how physiotherapy might need to adapt to the changing economy of health care in the 21st century. He has published more than 35 peer-reviewed articles and 17 book chapters, many as first author. He is also very active on social media, writing more than 650 blogposts for criticalphysio.net in the last five years. David has taught in physiotherapy programmes in the UK and New Zealand for over 25 years and has presented his work all around the world. The End of Physiotherapy – the first book-length critical history of physiotherapy, and written by David – was published by Routledge in 2017. A follow-up book analysing physiotherapy sociologically is due for publication in 2020.

Fields of research:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Rehabilitation and Therapy (Excl. Physiotherapy)
  • Other Medical and Health Sciences
  • Medical and Health Sciences Not Elsewhere Classified
  • Higher Education
  • Technical, Further and Workplace Education
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
  • Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Educational Technology and Computing
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
  • Sociology
  • Social Theory
  • Sociology of Education
  • History and Philosophy of Specific Fields
  • History and Philosophy of Education
  • History and Philosophy of Medicine
  • History and Philosophy of The Humanities
  • Hermeneutic and Critical Theory
  • Social Philosophy
  • Philosophy Not Elsewhere Classified

Professional activities:

Featured professional activities

  • Founding Chair of International Physiotherapy History Association, International Physiotherapy History Association (2017 - ongoing)
  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy (2016 - ongoing)
  • Inaugural Chair, International Critical Physiotherapy Network, Critical Physiotherapy Network (2014 - ongoing)
  • Inaugural Chair, Physiotherapy Education Group, Physiotherapy New Zealand (2009 - ongoing)
  • Inaugural Chair, New Zealand Physiotherapy History Working Group, Physiotherapy New Zealand (2006 - 2013)

Appointment, affiliation, and membership

  • Founding Chair of International Physiotherapy History Association, International Physiotherapy History Association (2017 - ongoing)
  • Appointed Leading Researcher, Auckland University of Technology (2016 - ongoing)
  • Visiting Professor, University of Oslo, Norway (2016)
  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy (2016 - ongoing)
  • Inaugural Chair, International Critical Physiotherapy Network, Critical Physiotherapy Network (2014 - ongoing)
  • Head of Department, Auckland University of Technology (2012 - 2014)
  • National Executive member, Physiotherapy New Zealand (2010 - 2014)
  • Inaugural Chair, Physiotherapy Education Group, Physiotherapy New Zealand (2009 - ongoing)
  • Tertiary Education Union, Tertiary Education Union (2009 - ongoing)
  • Inaugural Chair, New Zealand Physiotherapy History Working Group, Physiotherapy New Zealand (2006 - 2013)

Award, prize, fellowship, and scholarship

  • Ruth Grant Prize, University of South Australia (2008 - ongoing)

Editorship, reviewing, examining, and judging

  • Invited on to Editorial Board of new digital first journal 'OpenPhysio', OpenPhysio (2017 - 2020)
  • Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice (2016 - ongoing)

Facilitation, networking and collaboration

  • Conference facilitator, Podiatry New Zealand (2016)
  • Development of a critical physiotherapy community through blogging, Critical Physiotherapy Network (2014 - ongoing)
  • International Critical Physiotherapy Network, Critical Physiotherapy Network (2014 - ongoing)

Contribution to academic environment

  • Masters supervision, AUT University (2005 - 2007)
  • Successful masters thesis supervised, AUT University (2003 - 2004)
  • Successful masters thesis supervised, AUT University (2001 - 2002)

Other professional recognition

  • Citation in 'Rehabilitation: A Post-critical Approach', (2016 - ongoing)
  • Most cited journal articles, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice (2015 - ongoing)
  • A year of celebration, (2013 - ongoing)

Outreach and engagement

  • Skremmende tittel, optimistisk innhold (Scary title, optimistic content) (2016)
    This Norwegian magazine article featured an interview with me during an invited visit to Oslo on April/May 2016. Part of the visit included lectures on my upcoming book, titled 'The End of Physiotherapy'. The article explores the ideas behind the book and what it might mean for physiotherapists in Norway.

Conference and event

  • In Sickness and In Health (2017)
  • Danish Physiotherapy Education Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark (2016)
  • New Zealand Physiotherapy Board, Wellington, New Zealand (2015)
  • Physiotherapy New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand (2015)
  • School of Rehabilitation and Occupation Studies' Annual Research Day, Auckland, New Zealand (2014)

Research outputs:

Featured research outputs

  • Nicholls, D. (2020). After the love has gone: Generalists, specialists and post-professional healthcare. In T. Pernecky (Ed.), Postdisciplinary knowledge (pp. 215-234). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2018). Aged care as a bellwether of future physiotherapy. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. doi:10.1080/09593985.2018.1513105

  • Nicholls, D., Jachyra, P., Gibson, B. E., Fusco, C., & Setchell, J. (2018). Keep fit: marginal ideas in contemporary therapeutic exercise. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 10(4). doi:10.1080/2159676X.2017.1415220

  • Nicholls, D. (2017). The end of physiotherapy. London: Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.routledge.com/The-End-of-Physiotherapy/Nicholls/p/book/9781138673557

  • Setchell, J., Nicholls, D. A., & Gibson, B. E. (2017). Objecting: Multiplicity and the practice of physiotherapy. Health, 22(2). doi:10.1177/1363459316688519

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2016). Parrhēsia, artisans and the possibilities for deliberate practice. In F. Trede, & C. McEwen (Eds.), Educating the deliberate professional: Preparing for future practices (pp. 91-105). Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-32958-1

  • Nicholls, D. A., Atkinson, K., Bjorbækmo, W. S., Gibson, B. E., Latchem, J., Olesen, J., . . . Setchell, J. (2016). Connectivity: An emerging concept for physiotherapy practice. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice: an international journal of physical therapy, 32(3). doi:10.3109/09593985.2015.1137665

  • Fadyl, J. K., & Nicholls, D. A. (2013). Foucault, the subject, and the research interview: A critique of methods. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1).

  • Nicholls, D. A., & Holmes, D. (2012). Discipline, desire and transgression in physiotherapy practice. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice: an international journal of physical therapy, 28(6). doi:10.3109/09593985.2012.676940

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2012). Foucault and physiotherapy. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice: an international journal of physical therapy, 28(6). doi:10.3109/09593985.2012.676937

  • Nicholls, D. A., & Gibson, B. E. (2010). The body and physiotherapy. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 26(8).

  • Nicholls, D. A., Reid, D. A., & Larmer, P. J. (2009). Crisis, what crisis? Revisiting 'possible futures for physiotherapy'. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 37(3). Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/

  • Nicholls, D. A., Walton, J. A., & Price, K. (2009). Making breathing your business: Enterprising practices at the margins of orthodoxy. Health, 13(3).

Journal articles

  • Dahl-Michelsen, T., Nicholls, D. A., & Groven, K. S. (2019). Approaching intimacy, sexuality and ethics in the professional training of physiotherapy students in Norway. European Journal of Physiotherapy. doi:10.1080/21679169.2019.1619833

  • Ahlsen, B., Engebretsen, E., Nicholls, D., & Mengshoel, A. M. (2019). The singular patient in patient-centred care: Physiotherapists' accounts of treatment of patients with chronic muscle pain. Medical Humanities. doi:10.1136/medhum-2018-011603

  • Setchell, J., Nicholls, D. A., Wilson, N., & Gibson, B. E. (2018). Imprégner la réadaptation de recherches et d’études fondamentales critiques: Un appel à l’action. Physiotherapy Canada, 70(4), 303-305. doi:10.3138/ptc.70.4.gef

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2018). Aged care as a bellwether of future physiotherapy. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. doi:10.1080/09593985.2018.1513105

  • Nicholls, D., Jachyra, P., Gibson, B. E., Fusco, C., & Setchell, J. (2018). Keep fit: marginal ideas in contemporary therapeutic exercise. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 10(4). doi:10.1080/2159676X.2017.1415220

  • Nicholls, D. (2017). Qualitative research. Part 3: Methods. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 24(3), 114-121. doi:10.12968/ijtr.2017.24.3.114

  • Nicholls, D., & Harwood, G. (2017). Physical therapies in 19th century Aotearoa/New Zealand: Part 3 - Rotorua Spa and discussion. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 45(1). doi:10.15619/NZJP/45.1.02

  • Macdonald, H., & Nicholls, D. A. (2017). Teaching physiotherapy students to “be content with a body that refuses to hold still”. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 33(4). doi:10.1080/09593985.2017.1302027

  • Setchell, J., Nicholls, D. A., & Gibson, B. E. (2017). Objecting: Multiplicity and the practice of physiotherapy. Health, 22(2). doi:10.1177/1363459316688519

  • Nicholls, D., & Harwood, G. (2016). Physical therapies in 19th century Aotearoa/New Zealand: Part 2 - Settler physical therapies. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 44(3). doi:10.15619/NZJP/44.3.02

  • Nicholls, D., Harwood, G., & Bell, R. (2016). Physical therapies in 19th century Aotearoa/New Zealand: Part 1 – Mäori physical therapies. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 44(2). doi:10.15619/NZJP/44.2.02.

  • Nicholls, D. A., Atkinson, K., Bjorbækmo, W. S., Gibson, B. E., Latchem, J., Olesen, J., . . . Setchell, J. (2016). Connectivity: An emerging concept for physiotherapy practice. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice: an international journal of physical therapy, 32(3). doi:10.3109/09593985.2015.1137665

  • Fadyl, J., McPherson, K., & Nicholls, D. (2015). Re/creating entrepreneurs of the self: Discourses of worker and employee 'value' and current vocational rehabilitation practices. Sociology of Health and Illness, 37(4). doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12212

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2014). The digital divide. PhysioMatters, (October).

  • Fadyl, J. K., Nicholls, D. A., & McPherson, K. (2013). Interrogating discourse: The application of Foucault’s methodological discussion to specific inquiry.. Health: An interdisciplinary journal for the social study of health, illness and medicine, 17(5). doi:10.1177/1363459312464073

  • Fadyl, JK., Nicholls, D. A., & McPherson, KM. (2013). Interrogating discourse: The application of Foucault’s methodological discussion to specific inquiry. Health: an interdisciplinary journal for the social study of health, illness and medicine, 17(5). doi:10.1177/1363459312464073

  • Fadyl, J., Nicholls, D. A., & McPherson, K. (2013). What the doing does: Applying Foucault’s methodological writing to a research question. Qualitative Inquiry.

  • Fadyl, J. K., & Nicholls, D. A. (2013). Foucault, the subject, and the research interview: A critique of methods. Nursing Inquiry, 20(1).

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2012). Postmodernism and physiotherapy research. Physical Therapy Reviews, 17(6). doi:10.1179/1743288X12Y.0000000045

  • Nicholls, D. A., & Holmes, D. (2012). Discipline, desire and transgression in physiotherapy practice. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice: an international journal of physical therapy, 28(6). doi:10.3109/09593985.2012.676940

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2012). Foucault and physiotherapy. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice: an international journal of physical therapy, 28(6). doi:10.3109/09593985.2012.676937

  • Payne, D., & Nicholls, D. A. (2010). Managing breastfeeding and work: A Foucauldian secondary analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(8). Retrieved from http://ejournals.ebsco.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/

  • Nicholls, D. A., & Gibson, B. E. (2010). The body and physiotherapy. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 26(8).

  • Nicholls, D. A., Reid, D. A., & Larmer, P. J. (2009). Crisis, what crisis? Revisiting 'possible futures for physiotherapy'. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 37(3). Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2009). Qualitative Research: Part One – Philosophy. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 16(10).

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2009). Qualitative Research: Part Three – Methods. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 16(12).

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2009). Qualitative Research: Part Two – Methodology. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 16(11).

  • Nicholls, D. A., Walton, J. A., & Price, K. (2009). Making breathing your business: Enterprising practices at the margins of orthodoxy. Health, 13(3).

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2008). Putting Foucault to work: An approach to the practical application of Foucault's methodological imperatives. Aporia, 1(1).

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2006). From 'pandemoniums of vice' to a 'profession for British women': The future of physiotherapy through a historical lens. [Abstract]. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 34.

  • Nicholls, D. A., & Cheek, J. (2006). Physiotherapy and the shadow of prostitution: The Society of Trained Masseuses and the massage scandals of 1894. Social Science and Medicine, 62(9).

  • Nicholls, D. A., & Larmer, P. (2005). Possible futures for physiotherapy: An exploration of the New Zealand context. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 33(2).

  • Nicholls, D., & Larmer, P. (2005). Possible futures for physiotherapy: An exploration of the New Zealand context. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 33(2).

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2003). The experience of chronic breathlessness. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 19.

Book chapters

  • Nicholls, D. (2020). After the love has gone: Generalists, specialists and post-professional healthcare. In T. Pernecky (Ed.), Postdisciplinary knowledge (pp. 215-234). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

  • Nicholls, D., & Gibson, B. E. (2017). Kommentar zu "The body and physiotherapy". In H. Hoppner, & R. Richter (Eds.), Theorie und Modelle der Physiotherapie (pp. 151-164). Bern: Hogrefe Verlag. Retrieved from https://www.hogrefe.de/

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2016). Parrhēsia, artisans and the possibilities for deliberate practice. In F. Trede, & C. McEwen (Eds.), Educating the deliberate professional: Preparing for future practices (pp. 91-105). Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-32958-1

  • Nicholls, D. A., Gibson, B. E., & Fadyl, J. K. (2015). Rethinking movement: Postmodern reflections on a dominant rehabilitation discourse. In K. McPherson, B. E. Gibson, & A. LaPlege (Eds.), Rethinking rehabilitation: Theory and practice. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

  • Patton, N.., & Nicholls, D. A. (2014). Access, agency and abilities. In J. Higgs, A. Croker, D. Tasker, J. Hummell, & N. Patton (Eds.), Health practice relationships (pp. 93-100). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2014). Evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence. In V. Wright-St. Clair, D. A. Reid, S. Shaw, & J. Ramsbotham (Eds.), Evidence-based health practice (pp. 211-225). Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Conference contributions

  • Waterworth, K., Nicholls, D., Burrows, L., & Gaffney, M. (2018). The construction of the ‘other’ disabled child in Aotearoa New Zealand. In In Sickness and In Health (ISIH) 7th International Conference. Sydney: University of Tasmania, Rozelle Campus with the Helsinki 7. Retrieved from https://isihconference.com/isih-2018/

  • Waterworth, K., Nicholls, D., Burrows, L., & Gaffney, M. (2018). Developing postqualitative methods to rethink disability for children. In In Sickness and In Health (ISIH) 7th International Conference. Sydney: University of Tasmania Rozelle conference and the Helsinki 7. Retrieved from https://isihconference.com/isih-2018/

  • Waterworth, K., Nicholls, D., Burrows, L., & Gaffney, M. (2018). Rethinking autonomy for disabled children in Aotearoa New Zealand. In 14th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Urbana: University of Illinios. Retrieved from https://icqi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/QI2018-Final-Program-1.pdf

  • Nicholls, D. (2001). Real Physios don't count beans: An argument for more qualitative research in respiratory physiotherapy. In Australian Physiotherapy Association 7th National Cardiothoracic Special Group Conference. Adelaide.

Theses

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2008). Body politics: A Foucauldian discourse analysis of physiotherapy practice. (University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia).

Oral presentations

  • Larmer, P., Nicholls, D., & Sutherland, H. (2016). Formal complaints against physiotherapists in New Zealand, 2012-15.. Pullman Hotel, Auckland.

  • Huang, H. J., & Hooper, K. (2011). Qualitative Research Method. Beijing.

Other outputs

  • Maric, F., & Nicholls, D. (2019). A call for a new environmental physiotherapy - An editorial. In Physiotherapy Theory and Practice (Vol. 35, Iss. 10, pp. 905-907). doi:10.1080/09593985.2019.1632006

  • Setchell, J., Nicholls, D. A., Wilson, N., & Gibson, B. E. (2018). Infusing rehabilitation with critical research and scholarship: A call to action. In Physiotherapy Canada (Vol. 70, Iss. 4, pp. 301-302). doi:10.3138/ptc.70.4.gee

  • Nicholls, D. (2017). WCPT advocates for the inclusion of people with disabilities in physiotherapy profession. In Physiotherapy Practice (Vol. 7, Iss. 2, pp. 26-28). Churchill Livingstone. Retrieved from https://physiotherapy.ca/

  • Nicholls, D. A. (2012). Commentary on: [Transformational practice development research in the healthcare professions: A critical creative dialogue, Trede, F. & Titchen, A.]. In International Practice Development Journal (Iss. 2). Retrieved from http://www.fons.org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/library/journal/volume2-issue2