Ellen McGough

  • Professor, Department Chair
  • PT, PhD
  • Phone: 401.874.5634
  • Email: ellen_mcgough@uri.edu
  • Office Location: Independence Square, Suite J, Rm 101


Ellen McGough, PT, PhD is new to the University of Rhode Island as of June 2021. She has extensive experience in physical therapy clinical practice, education, and research from previous clinical and faculty positions at the University of Washington.


Dr. McGough conducts research that aims to improve physical performance and prevent mobility disability in adults with neurodegenerative disease and age-related impairments.
Her research projects include:

  • Applications of portable technology to assess mobility in older adults
  • Development of a fall risk assessment battery utilizing body-worn sensor technology
  • Data visualization to inform clinical decisions and patient education
  • Exercise programs for people with neurodegenerative disease
  • Train-the trainer models to improve function in people living with dementia


  • B.S., Microbiology – University of Wisconsin – La Crosse 1982
  • B.S., Physical Therapy – University of Wisconsin – La Crosse 1986
  • M. Ed. – University of Washington, Seattle 2003
  • Ph.D., Nursing Sciences – University of Washington, Seattle 2009
  • Pre-doctoral Fellowship in Rehabilitation Sciences – University of Washington 2007-2009
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship in Biobehavioral Nursing Research – University of Washington 2010

Teaching Responsibilities

  • PHT 518: Communication and Education in Physical Therapy
  • PHT 600: Foundations of Evidence-Based Practice
  • PHT 610-640: Evidence-Based Inquiry I-IV

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed

  • Johnstone LM, Roshanravan B, Rundell SD, Kestenbaum B, Baker SF, Berry DL, McGough E. Instrumented and standard measures of physical performance in adults with chronic kidney disease. Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. published online, Sept 2021.
  • McGough EL, Gries M, Teri L, Kelly VE. Validity of instrumented 360° turn test in older adults with cognitive impairment (2020). Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics. doi:1080/02703181.2019.1710319. 
  • Thompson HJ, McGough E, Demiris G. FaCT2 Study Protocol: A Randomized controlled trial exploring cognitive training to reduce risk of falls in at risk older adults. Injury Prevention (2020) 26(4):370-377. PMID: 31451566.
  • Teri L, Logsdon RG, McCurry SM, Pike KC, McGough EL. Translating an evidence-based multicomponent intervention for older adults with dementia and their caregivers in a two-state effectiveness trial. Gerontologist (2020):60(3):548-557. PMID: 30304477, PMCID: PMC711762.
  • McGough EL, Hsu, LY, Thompson H., Teri L. Concurrent validity of postural sway measures in older adults with cognitive impairment. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics (2018) 36(4),399-410. PMID:31598029, PMCID: PMC6785244.
  • McGough EL, Lin S, Belza B, Becofsky KM, Jones DL, Liu M, Wilcox S, Logsdon R. A scoping review of physical performance outcome measures used in exercise interventions for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy (2019) 42(1):28-47. PMID:29210934.
  • McGough EL, Kelly VE, Weaver KE, Logsdon RG, McCurry SM, Pike KC, Grabowski TJ, Teri L. Limbic and basal ganglia neuroanatomical correlates of gait and executive function: older adults with mild cognitive impairment and intact cognition. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2018) 97(4), 229-235. PMID: 29261535, PMCID: PMC6375079.
  • McGough EL, Kirk-Sanchez N, Liu-Ambrose T. Integrating health promotion into physical therapy practice to improve brain health and prevent Alzheimer disease. Journal of Neurological Physical Therapy (2017) 41 Supp l3, S55-S62. PMID: 28628597.
  • McGough EL, Robinson CA, Nelson MD, Houle R, Fraser G, Handley L, Jones ER, Amtmann D, Kelly VE. A tandem cycling program: feasibility and physical performance outcomes in people with Parkinson´s disease. Journal of Neurological Physical Therapy (2016) 40(4):223-9. PMID:27576091.
  • Kelly VE, Johnson CO, McGough EL, Shumway-Cook A, Horak FB, Chung KA, Espay AJ, Revilla, FJ, Devoto J, Wood-Siverio C, Factor SA, Cholerton BA, Edwards KL, Peterson AL, Quinn JF, Montine TJ, Zabetian CP, Leverenz, JB. Association of cognitive domains with postural instability/gait disturbance in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. (2015) 21(7): 692-7. PMID:25943529, PMCID: PMC4524498.
  • McGough EL, Zumsteg JM. Lifestyle changes in the prevention of mobility disability. Healthy Aging and Clinical Care in the Elderly. (2014) 6:33-41. Doi:10.4137/HACCE.S12502
  • Kirk-Sanchez NJ, McGough EL. Physical exercise and cognitive performance in the elderly: clinical perspectives. Clinical Interventions in Aging. (2014) 9:51-62. PMID:24379659, PMCID: PMC3872007.
  • McGough EL, Cochrane BB, Pike KC, Logsdon RG, McCurry SM, Teri L. Dimensions of physical frailty and cognitive function in older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Annals of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2013) 56(5):329-341. PMID:23602402, PMCID: PMC5562508.
  • McGough EL, Logsdon RG, Kelly VE, Teri L. Functional mobility limitations and falls in assisted living residents with dementia: physical performance assessment and quantitative gait analysis. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy (2013) 36(2):78-86. PMID:23602402, PMCID: PMC5562508.
  • McGough EL, Kelly VE, Logsdon RG, McCurry SM, Cochrane BB, Engel JM, Teri L. Associations between physical performance and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: Gait speed and the timed “up & go” test. Physical Therapy Journal (2011) 91(8):198-1207. PMID:21616934, PMCID: PMC3145896.

Book Chapters

  • Robinson JP, Leo R, Wallach J, McGough EL, Schatman M. (2010) Rehabilitative Treatment for Chronic Low Back Pain. In: Evidence-based Chronic Pain Management. Stannard CF, Kalso E, Ballantyne J, eds. Singapore: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Teri L, McCurry SM, Logsdon RG, McGough EL. (2014) Exercise and Health Promotion for Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment. In: The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology: International Perspectives. Pachana NA, Laidlow K, eds. Oxford University Press.
  • McGough EL, Engel JM. Exercise Therapy. In: Bonica’s Management of Pain, 4th edition (2010) & 5th edition (2019). Fishman SF, Ballantyne JC, Rathmell JP, eds. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
  • McGough EL, Kirk-Sanchez N. Rehabilitation in Dementia. (2020) A Comprehensive Guide to Rehabilitation of the Older Patient 4th Edition, Editors: Shane O’Hanlon and Marie Smith, Elsevier.
  • McGough EL, Prusynski RA, Lam NY. Health Promotion. (2020) A Comprehensive Guide to Rehabilitation of the Older Patient 4th Edition, Editors: Shane O’Hanlon and Marie Smith, Elsevier.