Kimberly Erler, OT, PhD, HEC-C is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Dr. Erler earned her Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Studies and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Boston University, College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College. Her clinical practice has been in acute care at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2017, Dr. Erler earned her PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

She has presented and published at the state and national level on a variety of clinically relevant topics including her research in neurorehabilitation following traumatic brain injury and stroke, and ethical decision-making in clinical practice.

  • Bachelor of Science, Therapeutic Studies, Boston University
  • Master of Science, Occupational Therapy, Boston University
  • PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences, MGH Institute of Health Professions

Research Interests

  • Participation after neurological injury
  • Patient reported outcomes
  • Ethics in clinical practice
  • Neurorehabilitation


Sylvia L. Devinne, Kimberly S. Erler, Katlyn Weber , Emily Evans, Caitlin Rajala, Camden R. Waterhouse, Mary Slavin, Michael Bergin, Joseph T. Giacino, Lewis Kazis. (November 2022). Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Participation for Persons with Brain Injury: A Qualitative Analysis. American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Annual Meeting.

Gabriele Phillips, Emily Evans, Kimberly S. Erler, Caitlin Rajala, Camden R. Waterhouse, Mary Slavin, Michael Bergin, Joseph T. Giacino, Lewis Kazis. (November 2022). Characterizing Participation Measures with Stakeholder Input Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health. American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Annual Meeting.

Bennett L, Howard B, Erler KS, Kennell BK. OT Code of Ethics 2020: Revisions to Meet the Needs of Stakeholders in Today’s Evolving Landscape of Practice. Short course at: American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference; 2021; Virtual.

Erler K, Wu R, DiCarlo JA, Petrilli M, Hochberg LR, Kautz SA, Schwamm LH, Cramer, SC, Finklestein SP, Lin DJ. Modified Rankin Scale Does Not Capture Precise Recovery Phenotypes after Acute Stroke. Poster Presentation at: American Society of Neurorehabilitation; 2021; Virtual.

Erler KS, Wu R, DiCarlo JA, Petrilli MF, Gochyyev P, Hochberg LR, Kautz SA, Schwamm LH, Cramer SC, Finklestein SP, Lin DJ. Association of Modified Rankin Scale with Recovery Phenotypes in Patients with Upper Extremity Weakness after Stroke. Neurology. 2022. Epub.

Golden K, Erler KS, Wong J, Giacino JT, Bodien YG. Should Consistent Command-Following Be Added to the Criteria for Emergence From the Minimally Conscious State?. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2022. Epub.

Erler KS, Robinson EM, Bandini JI, Regel EV, Zwirner M, Cremens C, McCoy TH, Romain F, Courtwright AM. Clinical Ethics Consultation During the first COVID-19 Pandemic Surge at an Academic Medical Center: A Mixed Methods Analysis. HEC Forum. 2022.

Lin DJ, Erler KS, Snider SB, Bonkhoff AK, DiCarlo JA, Lam N*, Ranford J, Parlman K, Cohen A, Freeburn J, Finklestein SP, Schwamm LH, Hochberg LR, Cramer SC. Cognitive Demands Influence Upper Extremity Motor Performance During Recovery from Acute Stroke. Neurology. 2021.

Tinkham L, Guyton K, Eddy E, Erler KS. Examining Moral Distress Among Occupational Therapy Practitioners Caring for Clients with Traumatic Brain Injury. Annals of International Occupational Therapy. 2021; 4(4):e184-190.

Contact Information

Awards and Honors

2020 New Investigator Award

The purpose of this award is to honor an MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP) faculty member who has achieved distinction in the early stages of a research career by developing a program of research that is recognized for 1) creating new knowledge that significantly impacts the scientific basis of his or her field of practice, and 2) advancing the research mission of the IHP.

2020 Annual Conference Scholarship

Brain Injury Special Interest Group, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

Service Commendation 2020

American Occupational Therapy Association

Herbert Hall Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Occupational Therapy 2020

This Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapy award is designed to recognize an individual or group who has demonstrated outstanding service to the profession of Occupational Therapy with the state of Massachusetts.

Visiting Scholar 2020

University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation

Award for Teaching Excellence 2019

This award honors an occupational therapy IHP instructor who is dedicated and committed to enhancing the educational experience of occupational therapy students. This individual consistently integrates learning activities/research mentorship that enable students to expand their knowledge, skills, and attitudes in occupation and evidence-based practice, interprofessional collaboration, and professional reasoning.