Helen studied medicine at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2003. After completing House Officer training, Helen worked in Brisbane, Australia for 6 months before returning to continue core medical training in Sheffield and Rotherham, gaining the MCRP in 2006.

Helen qualified as a GP in 2010 and currently work as a salaried GP at Dykes Hall Medical Centre, Sheffield.

During Helen's undergraduate training, she undertook an intercalated BMedSci degree in the Department of Respiratory Medicine looking at novel therapies for pulmonary hypertension and COPD. Once qualified as a GP, Helen decided to pursue my interest in academic medicine further and joined the Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care at the University of Sheffield in November 2011.

Helen was awarded an NIHR In-Practice fellowship award in 2012, which supported her to carry out a qualitative study of patient experiences of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and early stages of work towards developing a patient reported outcome measure for the condition, as well as enabling broad training in research methods through studying for an MMedSci (Keele University).

In 2017, Helen was awarded a Wellcome Trust Primary Care PhD Fellowship through the Research Institute for Primary Care Sciences at Keele University.

Research and scholarship

The aim of Helen's PhD is to develop and psychometrically evaluate a patient reported outcome measure for polymyalgia rheumatica with a view to establishing it as a valid, reliable tool to be adopted as an outcome measure in future trials and in clinical practice. Candidate items developed from previous qualitative work will be developed into a questionnaire, which will be evaluated for its reliability, validity and responsiveness using established psychometric methods.

Helen is working with the PMR Special Interest Group of OMERACT to establish an agreed core set of outcome measures for PMR research and am currently carrying out a systematic review of outcomes used in studies of PMR.

In addition to her PMR research, Helen is co-supervising a BMedSci student from the University of Sheffield on a study exploring the patient experience of a diagnosis of pre-diabetes and factors influencing uptake of referral to a lifestyle intervention programme in areas of socioeconomic deprivation.

Research grants and awards

  • Wellcome Trust Primary Care Doctoral Fellowship – commenced September 2017
  • OMERACT fellow for the PMR working group 2016
  • NIHR in-practice fellowship award 2012
  • Royal College of General Practitioners, Scientific Foundation Board Award, 2012


  • Mackie, SL, Twohig, H, Neill, LM et al. (2017) The OMERACT Core Domain Set for Outcome Measures for Clinical Trials in Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Journal of Rheumatology. ISSN 0315-162X (In Press)
  • Twohig HJ, Jones G, Mackie SL, Mallen CDM, Mitchell C. Assessment of the face validity, feasibility and utility of a patient completed questionnaire for polymyalgia rheumatica: a postal survey using the QQ-10 questionnaire. Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2018;4:7 doi: 10.1186/s40814-017-0150-y
  • Ellam T, Twohig HJ, Khwaja A. Chronic kidney disease in elderly people: disease or disease label? BMJ 2016;352:h6559 doi: 10.1136/bmj.h6559
  • Twohig HJ, Mitchell CM, Mallen CDM, Adebajo AO, Mathers N. “I suddenly felt I’d aged”: A qualitative study of patient experiences of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). Patient Educ Couns 2015;98:645-50 doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2014.12.013
  • Twohig HJ, Mitchell CM, Mallen CDM, Adebajo AO, Mathers N. "Comment on: Stiffness is more than just duration and severity: a qualitative exploration in people with rheumatoid arthritis" e-letter in Rheumatology May 2015 >>link.
  • Twohig HJ. Chlamydia trachomatis infection. InnovAIT 2012;6(2), 61-65 doi: 10.1177/1755738012467337