Diane L. Smith, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Photo of OTD Associate Professor Diane Smith
Occupational Therapy
(617) 643-0504
Office Location: 
Shouse - 247

Diane L. Smith, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Prior to her move to MGH Institute, Dr. Smith was Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Missouri, and on the faculty at Saint Louis University and at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. Her areas of  interest include health policy, research, and leadership.

Dr. Smith has practiced in various areas of occupational therapy including outpatient rehabilitation and served as a consultant to Walt Disney World, initiating occupational therapy services for employees and providing suggestions for ergonomic adaptations for injury prevention. She has held administrative roles with HealthSouth Rehabilitation in Orlando, Florida, and with Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

She has over 30 peer-reviewed publications and has presented at the international, national and state level. Her areas of research interest are health literacy and issues of empowerment for people with disabilities, specifically women and veterans, including the effect of policy on employment, access to health care and education. 

Dr. Smith is also an associate editor for the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, participates on the NBCOT Continuing Competency Project, and was elected to the Roster of Fellows for the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2009.

Research Interests

  • Health policy; specifically disability policy related to access for persons with disabilities (especially subpopulations, women and veterans) to employment and education 
  • Health literacy related to health communication for vulnerable populations and assessment of health care environments


Smith, D.L., Atmatzidis, K., Capogreco, M., Lloyd-Randolfi, D., & Seman, V. (2016). Evidence-based interventions for increasing work participation for persons with disabilities: A systematic review. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 131 (suppl.), 1-11.

Wint, A.J., Smith, D.L., & Iezzoni, L.I. (2016). Mothers with physical disability: Childcare adaptations at home. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70, 7006220060p1- 7006220060p7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.021477

Smith, D.L. (2015, epub ahead of print). Does the type of disability and participation in rehabilitation affect satisfaction of stroke survivors? Results from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Disability and Health Journal.

Smith, D.L. & Notaro, S.J. (2015). Is emergency preparedness a "disaster" for people with disabilities in the US? Results from the 2006-2012 BRFSS. Disability and Society, 30, 401-418.

Smith, D.L. (2015). Examining patient-centered communication and access for veterans with disabilities. Military Medicine, 180, 454-463.

Smith, D.L. (2015). The relationship between disability and employment for veterans from the 2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Work, 51, 349-363.

Smith, D.L. (2014) The relationship between employment and veteran status, disability and gender from the 2004-2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).  Work, 49, 325-334.

PubMed summary of abstracts for Dr. Smith.


  • BS, Occupational Therapy, University of Illinois at the Medical Center Program in Occupational Therapy, Chicago, IL
  • MS, Occupational Therapy, Washington University in St. Louis, MO
  • PhD, Public Policy Analysis and Administration, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO

Curriculum Vitae