Alan M. Jette, PT, PhD, MPH, FAPTA, is a former Professor of Interprofessional Studies in the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program and in the Department of Physical Therapy at the MGH Institute.

Dr. Jette is a physical therapist and an internationally recognized expert in the measurement of function and disability. He has developed numerous instruments that assess function and disability and has published numerous articles on these topics in the rehabilitation, geriatrics, and public health literature.

He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in October 2013.

Dr. Jette was responsible for the development of the Late Life Function and Disability Instrument and, more recently, computer adaptive measures of function for different populations, including people post-rehabilitation, older adults, and people with osteoarthritis.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Jette has received a total of 54 grants and fellowships from such agencies as the National Institutes of Health (multiple divisions), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Arthritis Foundation.

His current research interests include the measurement, epidemiology, and prevention of disability, and the development and dissemination of contemporary outcome measurement instruments to evaluate the quality of health care.

He also has applied his research to randomized clinical trials to reduce disability in older adults using cognitive-behavioral strategies, exercise training, and programs to reduce fear of falling. He furthermore developed and tested innovative strategies to disseminate these programs to the wider community.

From 2005-2007 Dr. Jette chaired the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Project, The Future of Disability in America. Building on the 1991 landmark IOM report, Disability in America, the IOM Panel updated developments since that report's publication and highlighted future priorities for the nation. The panel's report was released in 2007.

Dr. Jette played a seminal role in the MGH Institute and its focus on interprofessional studies and innovation. He was part of the original faculty for the physical therapy graduate program in the 1980s, was the program's Director from 1986-1989, served as Interim President in 1987-1988, and has been an adjunct member of the physical therapy faculty since 1989.

More recently, Dr. Jette returned to the MGH Institute as a professor in the Center for Interprofessional Studies and Innovation, where he participates in teaching several core courses in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program. He also serves as an academic advisor and research mentor for PhD students and provides expert advice to the program leadership.

Professional recognition of Dr. Jette includes his being named an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Catherine Worthingham Fellow in 2005, and the 2012 Mary McMillan Lecturer; 2011 Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America – the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging; and the 2010 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Recognition Award for Distinguished Public Service, for his pioneering contributions to the field of disability rehabilitation research and to people with disabilities.

Dr. Jette is also a Professor of Health Policy & Management and Director of the Health & Disability Research Institute at Boston University School of Public Health, and Director of the Spinal Cord Model Systems Center at Boston University Medical Campus.

He also currently directs the Boston Rehabilitation Outcomes Measurement Center, funded by the NIH National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research. The center is a collaborative of local institutions that will provide rehabilitation researchers with the most up-to-date outcome measurement tools

  • BS, Physical Therapy, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • MPH, University of Michigan
  • PhD in Public Health, University of Michigan.

Research Interests

The measurement, epidemiology, and prevention of disability, and the development and dissemination of contemporary outcome measurement instruments to evaluate the quality of health care.

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