Physical Therapy Department

25 West Independence Way, Suite J, Kingston, RI 02881

Clinic: 401.874.2006Administrative staff: 401.874.5001

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Susan Roush

  • Professor
  • Ph.D., PT
  • Phone: 401.874.5626
  • Email:
  • Mailing Address:

    University of Rhode Island
    Department of Physical Therapy
    25 West Independence Way
    Kingston, Rhode Island, 02881


Dr. Roush received her Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the Ohio State University in 1979. After obtaining a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Services, she worked briefly as a Physical Therapy Instructor. This first academic position inspired Dr. Roush to pursue her PhD, which was in Measurement, Statistics and Design from the University of Washington.

Dr. Roush joined the University of Rhode Island’s Physical Therapy faculty in 1991 where her focus has been on Professional Issues (in both teaching and research), and disability-related topics. Her experiences have also included 5 years as Associate Dean of the College of Human Science and Services, and a 1-month term as Special Assistant to the Provost. Dr. Roush has participated in two sabbaticals including 6 months as a Visiting Scholar at the University College Dublin (Ireland) Center for Disability Studies, and as a Visiting Scholar at the University of South Australia ((Adelaide) Physiotherapy Department. She is currently involved in grant work in conjunction with the Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council, and with the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.


Dr. Roush’s research interests are in the areas of professional issues and disability studies, and including

• Incorporation of a social model of disability into the work of health care providers
• Perceptions of sexual boundaries in physical therapy clinical practice
• Empathy in physical therapy students
• Accommodating allied health students with disabilities
• Physical therapy patient satisfaction


  • Ph.D., University of Washington, 1990
  • M.S., Auburn University, 1983
  • B.S., Ohio State University, 1979

Teaching Responsibilities:

PHT 508: Psychosocial Aspects of Disability
PHT 528: Ethical, Legal and Interdisciplinary Issues in Clinical Practice
PHT 536: Pathophysiology for Physical Therapists
PHT 600: Foundations of Evidence-Based Practice
PHT 610: Evidence-Based Inquiry I
PHT 620: Evidence-Based Inquiry II
PHT 630: Evidence-Based Inquiry III
PHT 640: Evidence-Based Inquiry IV
EDP 692: Directed Readings and Research Problems (PhD in Education Program)
EDP 699: Dissertation (PhD in Education Program)


Professional Service:

A. Manuscript Reviewer:
• International Journal of Rehabilitation and Health
• Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
• Physical Therapy
• Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

B. Managing Editor of peer-reviewed HPA Section research journal: Physical Therapy Journal of Policy, Administration and Leadership 2008 to 2017 (Past)



Audette J. Roush SE. (2013) Educational perspectives and teaching styles of faculty who lead international service-learning experiences.  Journal of Physical Therapy Education; 27(2): 65-73.

Roush SE, Sharby N. (2011)  Disability reconsidered:  The paradox of physical therapy. Physical Therap;. 91:1715-1727.

Dalton E, Roush SE. (2010).  Assistive and Educational technology standards and teacher competencies in relation to evidence-based practices: Identification and classification of the literature.  Journal of Special Education Technology; 25(2):13-30.

Sharby N, Roush SE.  (2009). Decision making model for addressing the needs of allied health students with disabilities.  Journal of Allied Health  38(1):54-62

Lawrence S, Roush SE (2008).  Examining Pre-Retirement And Related Services Offered to Service-users With an Intellectual Disability in Ireland. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities. 12(3):239-252.

Sharby N, Roush SE  (2008).  The Application of Universal Instructional Design in Experiential Education. Pgs. 305-320  In JL Higbee & E Goff (eds.)  Pedagogy and Student Services for Institutional Transformation:  Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education.  University of Minnesota:  Minneapolis MN.

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