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Susan Murphy, Sc.D., O.T.R.

Title and department:
Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Research Health Science Specialist, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Ann Arbor VA Health Care System

Mailing address:
University of Michigan
Institute of Gerontology
300 North Ingalls, Room 961
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2007

Phone: (734)936-2123 ; Fax: (734) 936-2116


Key word or key phrase: Osteoarthritis, fatigue, pain, physical activity, aging, ecological momentary assessment

Research Interests
Dr. Murphy’s primary research interests are: 1) understanding the relationship between pain, fatigue, and physical activity in people with chronic pain and 2) developing and testing rehabilitation interventions for people with osteoarthritis and other chronic pain conditions. By using ecological momentary assessment in which symptoms and physical activity can be assessed in real-time in the home environment, we have discovered variability between people that supports an individually-tailored approach to treatment. We have also found that fatigue, which is currently not well-studied in osteoarthritis, was more severe and more greatly impacted physical activity compared to pain. Current studies in the lab focus on testing a tailored behavioral approach of teaching activity pacing for pain and fatigue management to people with osteoarthritis and back pain. Collaborators include Mike Geisser, Ph.D., Professor, department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, David Williams, Ph.D., Professor, department of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology Division, Raymond Yung, M.D., Professor, department of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics Center, and Daniel Clauw, M.D., director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, and Professor, department of Anesthesiology.    
Brief Biography
Dr. Murphy has been the recipient of various grants through NIH, the department of Veteran’s Affairs, and the American College of Rheumatology’s Research and Education Foundation. She co-directs MICHR’s Practice-Oriented Research Training (PORT) Program at the University of Michigan. Dr. Murphy is an associate editor of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and on the editorial boards of the Arthritis Care and Research Journal and the Journal of Applied Gerontology. She is the conference president of the 2011 Society for Ambulatory Assessment conference held at the University of Michigan.

Recent Publications
Murphy, S. L., Smith, D. M., Clauw, D. J., Alexander, N. B. The impact of momentary pain and fatigue on physical activity in women with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Care & Research, 59: 849-856, 2008.

Murphy, S. L., Strasburg, D., Lyden, A. K., Smith, D. M., Koliba J. F., Dadabhoy, D., Wallis, S. Effects of activity strategy training on symptoms and physical activity in older adults with knee or hip osteoarthritis. Arthritis Care & Research, 59: 1480-1487, 2008.

Murphy, S. L., Smith, D. M. Ecological measurement of fatigue and fatigability in older adults with osteoarthritis. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 65A: 184-189, 2010.

Murphy, S. L., Lyden, A. K., Smith, D. M., Dong, Q., Koliba, J. F. The effect of a tailored activity pacing intervention on pain and fatigue for adults with osteoarthritis. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64: 869-876, 2010.

Murphy, S.L., Smith, D.M., Lyden, A.K. Type of activity pacing instruction affects physical activity variability in adults with symptomatic knee or hip osteoarthritis. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. (in press)