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

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

Diane L. Smith, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is Professor of Occupational Therapy and Doctoral Capstone Coordinator in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Prior to her move to MGH Institute of Health Professions, 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.

Dr. Smith has over 45 peer-reviewed publications and has presented at the state, national, and international level. Her areas of research interest are health policy and issues of empowerment for people with disabilities. Specifically, she is interested in the effect of policy on social determinants of health, especially with regard to access to employment, health care, and education.

Dr. Smith has served as associate editor for the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, a research consultant for the Great Plains ADA Center, and was elected to the Roster of Fellows for the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2009.

Faculty Senate Chair-2019-2020
2020, 2017 – Award for Faculty Excellence, MGH Institute of Health Professions Department of Occupational Therapy

Research Interests

  • Health policy: specifically, disability policy related to access for persons with disabilities using an intersectionality lens.
  • Health literacy: related to health communication for vulnerable populations and assessment of health care environments.
  • Environmental sustainability, disaster preparedness and OT’s role in climate change.


Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Public Policy Studies, College of Public Service, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri
Master of Science, Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, University of Illinois at the Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois



Ford, A.R., Smith, D.L., & Banister, G. (2021).  Recruitment and retention of minority occupational therapy practitioners.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Leslie, C., Hawkins, M., & Smith, D.L. (2020). Using the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) with providers in the early intervention setting: A qualitative validity testing study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 2603.

Jaegers, L.A., Skinner, E., Conners, B., Hayes, C., West-Bruce, S., Vaughn, M.G., Smith, D.L., & Barney, K.F. (2020). Evaluation of the jail-based Occupational Therapy Transition and Integration Services program for community reentry. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74, 7403205030.

Smith, D.L., Fleming, K., Brown, L., Allen, A., Baker, J., & Gallagher, M. (2020).  Occupational therapy and environmental sustainability:  A scoping review.  Annals of International Occupational Therapy, 3, 136-143.

Leslie, C., Smith, D.L., & Nicolas, P.K. (2019).  Health literacy understanding of early intervention providers: A scoping review.  Journal of Nurse Practitioners, 15, 640-648.


PubMed summary of abstracts for Dr. Smith.

Curriculum Vitae