Ruth McCullagh graduated in 1992 from the Cardiff School of Physiotherapy, and completed her staff grade rotations in Wales before returning to Dublin, where she developed her interest in Neurosciences. In 1998, she completed her MSc Neurorehabilitation (Brunel University, UK) and her MSc dissertation explored the prevalence of preclinical parkinsonism in elderly fallers. She has gained clinical experience in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. Returning to Cork, she worked in the Mercy University Hospital, as the Senior Physiotherapist in Medical Services.
Ruth has a strong interest in research. At Tallaght, her controlled trial found that a structured exercise programme improved fatigue and quality of life for patients with Multiple Sclerosis. In the Mercy Hospital, Cork, her pilot study found that an augmented exercise programme for frail older inpatients was feasible, and improved their physical performance and quality of life. This study formed the basis of her PhD.
Her PhD explored the link between older medical inpatients walking activity and their health outcomes, and the effects of an augmented prescribed exercise programme for frail medical inpatients. Her thesis was submitted in October 2017, and she successfully defended her PhD thesis in Viva Voce examination in December 2017. She continues to have an interest in the benefits of activity and exercise in frail older adults.