PhD '19 Alumni

What year did you start the program? 2015

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
BS, Rehabilitation Sciences, Northeastern University
DPT, Northeastern University

What was your research setting, mentor’s name and name of lab?
Mentor: Robert Saper, MD, Director of Integrative Medicine for the Boston Medical Center Department of Family Medicine

What was your research focused on?
 A national multi-site comparative effectiveness trial evaluating the ability of psychologically informed physical therapy (PIPT) to prevent patients with acute low back pain from transitioning to chronic low back pain. Chronic low back pain is a complex clinical and financial burden on the healthcare system so identifying patients who are predisposed to becoming chronic and getting them specific physical therapy treatment may prevent further disability and cost. My role in the study was recruiting physical therapists to provide the intervention and facilitating the training and implementation of PIPT.

List any publications or external presentations you have produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program.


Joyce C
, Schneider M, Stevans JM & Beneciuk JM. (April 2018). "Improving Physical Therapy Pain Care, Quality, and Cost through Effectiveness-Implementation Research." Physical Therapy.

Joyce, C., Beneciuk, J., Delitto, A. Changing Physical Therapy Practice Through Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trials-A TARGETed Approach. 2017

Joyce, C. (2017). Merging pain science and exercise in physical therapy. The American Physical Therapy Association Massachusetts Chapter Conference,

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
The PhD program is a small, supportive and rigorous program that pushes us to learn and grow while providing the foundation and guidance to do so. The interdisciplinary design encourages learning and collaboration across the fields and offers us opportunities to practice our synthesis of research in various capacities.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
My goal is to research, teach, and practice in physical therapy with a clinical and academic emphasis in pain physiology and rehabilitation. I enjoy working in both environments and hope to continue to foster the alliance between researcher and clinician to study and implement evidence based practices.