What is our research?
Our research encompasses the areas of participation and well-being among children, youth and young adults with physical disabilities, with a special focus on meaningful leisure participation and the impact of the environment. Our studies involve testing intervention plans to enhance community engagement such as the PREP (Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation), as well as developing measurement-focused projects that assess both the Participation and the Environment. We also lead Knowledge Translation initiatives; particularly those aimed at promoting participation-based practices.
Dr. Dana Anaby is an Associate Professor at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University, a Scientist at CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, and the Director of the ASPIRE lab (Advancing Strategies for Participation-based Initiatives in REhabilitation). She holds a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of British Columbia and completed her training in Occupational Therapy at Tel-Aviv University. Dana’s research encompasses the areas of participation and well-being among children, youth and young adults with physical disabilities, with a special focus on leisure participation and the impact of the environment. Her studies, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), involve developing and testing intervention plans such as the PREP (Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation) to improve community engagement, as well as enhancing measurement tools to assess Participation and Environment for transition-aged youth in different settings: home, school, community and the workplace. She also leads Knowledge Translation initiatives; particularly those aimed at accelerating the uptake of evidence surrounding participation into day-to-day clinical practice. Dana holds the FRQS (Fond de Recherche- Santé) Research Scholar Career Award and serves as the Principal Investigator of a range of pragmatic clinical trials funded by CIHR, testing the multiple benefits resulting from participation-based interventions. Her ultimate goal is to contribute to improved provision of pediatric rehabilitation services and inclusion for all.
Michal Waisman-Nitzan, OTR, PhD
Michal has 26 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist. Her clinical expertise includes school-based occupational therapy, mainly in the context of cerebral palsy and cognitive disabilities. She is completing her post-doctoral training under the supervision of Dr. Dana Anaby at McGill University. Her research interests concern the influence of environmental factors on participation of individuals with disabilities in different contexts, mainly education and employment.
Eda is a licensed physiotherapist and a motivated and inquisitive researcher with an interest in the development and wellbeing of children.She is currently a postdoctoral candidate focusing on the implications of school-based physiotherapy services. Her project aims to develop an international school-based physiotherapy (SB-PT) practice guideline based on the innovative Partnering for Change (P4C) model, and to determine the feasibility of these SB-PT services and developed guidelines in Canada and abroad.
Yu-Hsin is a licensed physiotherapist from Taiwan and has clinical work experience in early intervention, school, and community-based intervention for children with motor and other disabilities. She completed her Ph.D. in 2022 in the Department of Special Education at Stockholm University with a research project about eye-gaze assistive technology intervention for children and youth with severe disabilities. Her research interests concern environmental intervention to enhance participation in play, communication, and learning for children and youth with physical disabilities and their interactions with the proximal persons. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Dana Anaby.
Lina Ianni has been a practicing school-based Occupational Therapist in Quebec, Canada since 2008. She completed her professional degree in Occupational Therapy in 2008 and Master of Rehabilitation Science in 2017 at McGill University. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Dana Anaby and Dr. Chantal Camden. Her research interests lie in the areas of school-based occupational therapy, service delivery in schools, interprofessional collaboration, and knowledge translation.
Stephanie is a PhD student in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University, and a member of the ASPIRE Lab as well as the Youth Mental Health and Technology Lab (YMHTech @ CR-CHUM). She has seven years of experience working as an Occupational Therapist in mental health. She is passionate about the delivery of holistic, client-centered care, and her doctoral thesis research project targets mental health services for youth with physical disabilities. Her interests include hiking, climbing, gardening, and traveling to connect with people from around the world.
OT Reg. (Ont.), MScOT, BHSc
Mallory Ryan is a PhD student in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University. She is also an Occupational Therapist and proud Co-Founder of The Dance Ability Movement, an inclusive community dance program for dancers of all abilities, based out of southern Ontario. She has a Family Engagement in Research Program Certificate from CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability and a MscOT from the University of Toronto. She is interested in participation-based rehabilitation approaches for children and youth with disabilities. Her research will explore capacity-building of youth with physical disabilities to pursue participation in self-chosen community activities.
Saeideh Shahin is an Occupational Therapist and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Dana Anaby. Her research focuses on developing a participation questionnaire that evaluates participation and environmental factors that impact participation at home, school, community and the workplace among transition-aged youth and young adults. This project aims to provide a standardized tool to capture the first-hand subjective experiences of youth and young adults and the environmental barriers/facilitators that impact their participation in meaningful and age-related activities.
M.Sc., OT(C), erg.
Caroline has been a pediatric Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and continues to be passionate about supporting children and their families with their goals. Caroline is a PhD student in Rehabilitation Science at McGill and is a member of the ASPIRE lab. She is also a guest lecturer at McGill and at the Université de Sherbrooke. Caroline's interest in research lies in children's play at recess, "loose parts", and a sense of belonging. She enjoys reading, running, rowing, playing outside, and laughing with her family and friends.
Ziru Wang is a Master’s student in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University, and a member of the ASPIRE Lab. Her research interest includes participation of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has an academic background in Physiotherapy, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Mannat is a licensed Occupational therapist from India. She has completed her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from University of Delhi, India. She is currently pursuing her graduate program in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill university under the supervision of Dr. Dana Anaby. Her research interests lie around development and knowledge mobilisation of participation-based approaches for children and youth with disabilities. Her research will explore the impact of participation or lack thereof on the daily functioning of children and youth with disabilities with a focus on mental health.
Prana Khayargoli coordinated a clinical research study aiming to improve the motor, cognitive and affective body functions of youth with physical disabilities by engagement in meaningful activities of their choice using the PREP intervention. She completed her BSc in Physiology at McGill University and is now pursuing her graduate studies in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto.
Armance is coordinating a the BEYOND project, aimed at observing the effects of the PREP, on the motor, behavioral, and emotional body functions of youth with motor restrictions. She also assists the other students at the ASPIRE lab, and is in her third year of her BSc at McGill University, studying Physics.
Liliane is coordinating a mixed methods project examining capacity-building of youth with disabilities to pursue self-chosen community based activities. She is currently in her third year of her BA degree at Concordia University studying Psychology with a minor in Law and Society and Multidisciplinary Studies in Science.
Nahid Fathi has been working as an Occupational Therapist with children with neurodevelopmental disorders since 2000. She has a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Iran University of Medical Sciences. Her Bachelor's thesis was a literature review of early rehabilitation of Brachial plexus birth palsy, and her Master's thesis presented the reliability and validity of Test of Everyday Attention in Children (TAE-Ch) in Iran. Recently, she has been collaborating with ASPIRE Lab to develop a scoping review about capacity-building in rehabilitation of youth. Her areas of interest include family-centered practice, knowledge translation, development, validation, and transfer to practice of outcome measures especially in children and youth with neurodevelopmental disorders. She is interested in both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Noah Margolese is currently completing his professional masters in the Physical Therapy program at McGill University. Noah recently completed his BSc in Physical Therapy, also at McGill University. Noah has contributed to projects pertaining to measures of participation as well as the PREP intervention, including through a summer research bursary.
Weihang is currently a third-year student in Occupational Therapy at McGill University. He volunteers as a research assistant to examine the feasibility of the Y-PEM questionnaire under the supervision of Dr. Dana Anaby and PhD student Saeideh Shahin. Through his role, he hopes to make a positive impact on the team while gaining valuable knowledge on research methods for his future graduate studies. He is interested in specializing in hand therapy.
Lucille Xiang recently completed her BSc in Physical Therapy at McGill University, and will be beginning her MPH at Brown University in Fall 2021. Lucille is working on projects related to health services management, research and organization, and placed 2nd in the McGill Summer Research Bursary Program for her work.