Michelle M. Lusardi, PT, Ph.D., DPT

Michelle M. Lusardi, PT, DPT, PhD

Professional Interests

  • Balance and falls, physical frailty in later life
  • Functional Assessment of older adults
  • Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics
  • Family systems and family development

Degrees and Certifications

    • DPT, MGH Institute of Health Professions 2010
    • PhD, Family Studies/Gerontology, University of Connecticut 1993
    • MS, Allied Health/Educaction, University of Connecticut 1987
    • BS, Physical Therapy, SUNY Downstate Medical Center 1976

Teaching Responsibilities

    • Consultation for semester 2 (neurological physical therapy), semester 3 (prosthetics) and semester 4 (spinal cord injury) of the DPT program
    • Consultation for the graduate certificate in Geriatric Health & Wellness

Research Interests and Grants

    Past Editor in Chief, Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy; Wolters Kluwer/LWW; official publication of the Section on Geriatrics, American Physical Therapy Association

    Principle Investigator:  Functional Performance in Community Living Older Adults:  12 month follow up.  University Creativity and Research Grant, Sacred Heart University, June 2002-June 2003. ($3,100).

    Principle Investigator:  Functional Performance in Community Living Older Adults:  A Normative Study.  Connecticut Physical Therapy Association Research Grant, January 2002-June 2002. ($1,750).

    Project Director, Geriatric Rehabilitation:  Education and Advanced Training  (GREAT) Initiative.  DHHS/BHPr, Allied Health Program.  July 2001-June 2004. (#D37 HP00808) ($350,000)  

    Advisory Committee and Conference Planning Group member. RA Wong, Project Director.  Evidence Based Health Care in Geriatric Rehabilitation,  Marymount University, Arlington VA.  March 2001.  DHHS/Agency for Health Care Policy & Research.
    Hersher Foundation Faculty Grant: Incorporating Content on Ethics into an Undergraduate Course:  Frailty and Chronic Illness in Later Life, June 2000  ($1500)

    Faculty Fellow, Collegium:  a Colloquy of Faith and Intellectual Life, Fairfield University, June 1999.

    Project Director, Technical & Educational Resources for Community Outreach in the Elders 2000 Project, Connecticare Fund 1998-1999 ($4,925)

    Project Director, Elders 2000:  An interdisciplinary Team Approach to Educational Opportunities in Geriatric Rehabilitation.  Allied Health Project Grant (#1 D37 AH00616), DHHS, September 1997 - August 2000 ($336,000)

    Co-Investigator and site coordinator, “PREHAB” substudy (sensitivity and predictive validity of the Continuous Scale-Physical Functional Performance Test in frail older adults)  National Institute on Aging, Gill T, & Tinetti M (Principle Investigators), Yale University School of Medicine, 1998-2000.

    Co-Investigator and site coordinator:  Utility of a novel performance-based measure of physical function in studies of promising intervention programs.  Novartis Foundation for Gerontological Research.  Gill T, & Tinetti M (Principle Investigators) Yale University School of Medicine 4/99-3/00

    Consultant, Intervention Development Team, “DRIVER” Intervention Development Grant, National Institute on Aging, Tinetti M & Marottoli R (Investigators), Gottschalk M (Intervention Coordinator). Yale Medical School. 1998-2000.  

    Research Fellow, National Institute on Aging/Brookdale Foundation Summer Institute on Research in Aging, Airlie House, VA, July 15-22, 1995

Awards and Fellowships

    • Dean’s Leadership Award, College of Health Professions, Sacred Heart University, April 2012
    • Dean’s Leadership Award, College of Education & Health Professions, May 2010
    • Dorothy E. Carlin-Eleanor J. Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching, American Physical Therapy Association 2006
    • Distinguished Educator Award, Section on Geriatrics, American Physical Therapy Association, 2003
    • Joan Mills Award for Exceptional Contributions, Section on Geriatrics, American Physical Therapy Association 2001

Publications and Presentations

    Lusardi MM, Jorge M, Nielsen CC.  (Eds.) Orthotics and Prosthetics in Rehabilitation, 3rd. Ed.  In press, Elsevier/Mosby.  St. Louis MO. (publication date:  Sept. 2012)
    • Chui KK, Lusardi MM. Aging and Exercise, Ch. 2
    • Lusardi MM, Bowers DM. Motor Control and Motor Learning, Ch. 3
    • Lusardi MM.  Principles of Lower Extremity Orthoses, Ch 9
    • Lusardi MM, Bowers DM.  Orthotics Decision Making in Neurological and Neuromuscular Disease, Ch 10
    • Lusardi MM, Pepe J.  Amputation Surgeries, Ch 19
    • Lusardi MM.  Postoperative and Pre-prosthetic Care, Ch 20 

    Lusardi MM.  Is walking speed a vital sign?  Absolutely!  Top Geriatr Rehabil 2012;28(2):67-76.

    Lusardi MM.  Using walking speed in clinical practice: interpreting age-, gender-, and function specific norms.  Top Geriatr Rehabil 2012;28(2):77-90.

    Lusardi MM. Older adults and their families.  In AA Guccione, D Avers, RA Wong (Eds.) Geriatric Physical Therapy. St. Louis MO: Elsevier|Mosby 2012, pp. 207-227

    Farrell MK, Rutt RA, Lusardi MM, Williams AK. Are scores on the physical performance test useful in determination of risk of future falls in individuals with dementia? J Geriatr Phys Ther 2011;34(2):57-63.

    Chui KK, Lusardi MM. Spatial and temporal parameters of self-selected and fast walking speeds in healthy community-living adults aged 72-98 years. J Geriatr Phys Ther 2010;33(4):173-183.

    Farrell MK, Rutt RA, Lusardi MM, Williams MM. Reliability of the physical performance test in people with dementia. Phys Occ Ther Geriatr 2010;28(2):144-153.

    Hatch J, Lusardi MM. Impact of participation in a wellness program on functional status and falls among aging adults in an assisted living setting. J Geriatr Phys Ther 2010;33(2):71-77.

    Fritz S, Lusardi MM. Walking speed: the sixth vital sign. J Geriatr Phys Ther 2009;32(2):2-5.
    Lusardi MM. Tremors, chorea, and other involuntary motions.  In T Kauffman, J Barr, M Moran (Eds.) Geriatric Rehabilitation Manual, 2nd Ed.  Elsevier 2007, p. 205-212

    Lusardi ML, Nielsen CC (Eds.) Orthotics and Prosthetics in Rehabilitation, 2nd ed, St. Louis MO:  Saunders/Elsevier 2007. 
    • Lusardi MM, VanSwearingen JM. Energy, Exercise and Aging in Orthotic and Prosthetic Rehabilitation, p. 69-72.
    • Bowers D, Lusardi MM. Motor Learning and Motor Control in  Orthotic and Prosthetic Rehabilitation, p. 93-108.
    • Wong RA, Lusardi MM, An Evidence Based Approach to Orthotic and Prosthetic Rehabilitation, p. 109-134.
    • Hovorka CF, Geil MD, Lusardi MM. Principles Influencing Orthotic and Prosthetic Design: Biomechanics, Device-User Interface, and Related Concepts, p. 135-154.
    • Lusardi MM, Bowers D. Orthotics in the Management of Neuromuscular Impairment. p. 263-332.
    • Lusardi MM, Barringer W, Stills M:  Orthotic Interventions in the Management of Congenital, Developmental, and Trauma-related Musculoskeletal Impairment of Lower Extremities, p. 357-396.
    • Pepe JL, Lusardi MM.  Amputation Surgeries for the Lower Limb, p. 563-592.
    • Lusardi MM, Postoperative and Preprosthetic Care, p. 593-642.

    Bohannon RW, Lusardi MM. Getting up from the floor. Determinants and techniques among healthy older adults. Physiother Theory Prac 2004;20(4):233-241.

    Lusardi MM, Bowers D.  Case 26:  A patient with traumatic amputation, in MA Bremer & ML Moran (Eds.) Clinical Cases in Physical Therapy, 2nd ed. Philadelphia PA:  Butterworth Heinemann/Elsevier Science 2004, p. 113-119.

    Lusardi MM, Pellechia GL, Schulman M. Functional performance in community living older adults. J Geriatr Phys Ther 2003;26(3):14-22.

    Lusardi MM, Levangie PK, Fein BD. A problem-based learning approach to facilitate evidence-based practice in entry-level health professional education. J Prosthet Orthot 2002;14(2):40-50.

    Lusardi MM, Berke GM, Psonak R. Prosthetic gait. Ortho Phys Ther Clin N Am 2001;10(1):77-116.

    Wong RA, Barr JO, Farina N, Lusardi MM. Evidence-based practice: a resource for physical therapists. Issues Aging 2000; 23(3):19-26.

    Lusardi MM (Issue Ed.) Focused issue on Diversity (a compendium of 12 articles), GERINOTES (Newsletter, Seciton on Geriatrics APTA 2000, 7(6).

    Lusardi MM. Grant writing and funding resources for research in geriatric rehabilitation. Top Geriatr Rehabil 1999;14(3):29-52.

    Lusardi MM, Emery MJ, Strong LL, Tallant B.  Preparing health professionals to work with older adults:  The Elders 2000 Project, Gerinotes (Newsletter, Section on Geriatrics, APTA), 1999;6(6):11-13.

    Lusardi MM (1999). Tremors, chorea, and other involuntary motions.  In T Kauffman (Ed.) Geriatric Rehabilitation Manual.  Churchill Livingstone, p. 155-160.

    Lusardi MM, Smith EV. Development of a Scale To Assess Concern about Falling and Applications to Treatment Programs. J Outcome Meas 1997;1(1):34-55.

    Lusardi MM (1997) Mobility and balance in later life. Ortho Phys Ther Clin N Am 1997; 6(3):305-328.

    Lusardi MM, Wong RA. Physical therapists' understanding of Alzheimer's disease: implications for education. J Phys Ther Ed 1994;8(1):18-24.

    Lusardi MM, Roberts D, Bohannon RW, Seaton PC.  Journals publishing information relevant to gerontology and their coverage by four bibliographic indexes.  Top Geriatr Rehabil 1992;7(4):75-88.

    Bohannon RW, Lusardi MM. Modified sphygmomanometer versus strain gauge hand-held dynamometer. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1991;72(11):911-914.

    Lusardi MM, Bohannon RW. Hand grip strength:  comparability of measurements obtained with a Jamar dynamometer and modified sphygmomanometer.  J Hand Therapy 1991;4:117-122.


Michelle M. Lusardi

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