Julie J. Keysor, PT, PhD

Photo of PT Department Chair Julie Keysor, PT, PhD
Physical Therapy
(617) 724-6446

Dr. Julie Keysor is Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, at MGH Institute of Health Professions. She has over 20 years of experience in academic clinical research and teaching, including directing the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research Center for Enhancing Activity and Participation for People with Arthritis (ENACT) at Boston University. She currently serves on NIH and CDC review panels and has served as Chair of the Department.

Her academic passion is to enhance activity and participation among people with disabling conditions, particularly older adults and people with arthritis. She integrates behavioral and social sciences with movement systems to optimize health and wellness of adults with chronic conditions. Her work is interprofessional, building bridges, blending approaches, and developing innovations to optimize patient and health system outcomes.

Research Interests

Dr. Keysor has over 50 peer reviewed publications and has received funding from the National Institute of Disability, Community Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Arthritis Foundation.


BS, Physical Therapy, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
MS, Human Movement Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
PhD, Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC


Baker K, LaValley MP, Brown C, Felson DT, Ledingham A, Keysor JJ. Efficacy of Computer-based Telephone Counseling on Long-term Adherence to Strength Training in Elders with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Trial. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2020;72(7):982-990.  

Roseen EJ, Ward RE, Keysor JJ, Atlas SJ, Leveille SG, Bean JF. The Association of Pain Phenotype with Neuromuscular Impairments and Mobility Limitations Among Older Primary Care Patients: A Secondary Analysis of the Boston Rehabilitative Impairment Study of the Elderly. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2020;12(8):743-753. doi:10.1002/pmrj.12336

Shulman J, Zurakowski D, Keysor J, Jervis K, Sethna NF. Offset Analgesia Identifies Impaired Endogenous Pain Modulation in Pediatric Chronic Pain Disorders. Pain [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 8]. Pain. 2020;10.1097 doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001984

Shulman J, Smith A, Keysor J, Kenney A, Damice B, Jervis K, Zurakowski D, Sethna NF. Putting Fitness to the Test: Clinical Application of the Fitkids Treadmill Test in Youth with Chronic Pain. European Journal of Physical Therapy. June 15, 2020

Ledingham A, Cohn ES, Baker KR, Keysor JJ. Exercise adherence: beliefs of adults with knee osteoarthritis over 2 years. Physiother Theory Pract. 2019 Jan 17:1-16.

Keysor JJ, LaValley M, Brown C, Felson DT, AlHeresh R, Vaughan M, Yood R, Reed J, Allaire S. Efficacy of a Work Disability Prevention Program for People with Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions: The Work It Study Trial. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Sep 21. doi: 10.1002/acr.23423. [Epub ahead of print]

Vaughan M, Felson DT, LaValley M, Orsmond G, Niu J, Lewis CE, Segal NA, Nevitt MC, Keysor JJ. Affect and Incident Participation Restriction in Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis: The MOST Study. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Jul 7. doi: 10.1002/acr.23308. [Epub ahead of print]

Vaughan, M., LaValley, M., Orsmond, G., Niu, J., Lewis, C., Segal, N., Nevitt, M., Felson, D. Keysor, JJ. Perceived Community Environmental Factors Predict Risk of 5-year Participation Restriction among Older Adults with or at Risk of Knee Osteoarthritis: the MOST study. Arthritis Care Res. 2017 Jan 27. doi: 10.1002/acr.23085.

Maxwell JL, Vaughan M, Ledingham A, Felson D, Keysor JJ. Fear of the Known and Unknown: Factors Affecting Participation Following Knee Replacement among Persons with Participation Restriction. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2016 Nov 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Keysor JJ. Jette AM, LaValley MP, Lewis CE, Torner JC, Nevitt MC, Felson DT, and the Multicenter Osteoarthritis (MOST) Group. Community Environmental Factors Are Associated with Disability in Older Adults with Functional Limitations: The MOST Study. Journals of Gerontology: A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 54(4):393-43, 2010

Allaire S. Keysor JJ. Development of a Structured Interview Tool to Help Patients Identify and Solve Rheumatic Condition-Related Work Barriers. Arthritis Care & Research 61(7):988-95, 2009


Curriculum Vitae