Dr Kelly O’Brien is a Physical Therapist and Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation (IHPME), and Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (RSI) at the University of Toronto. She holds a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Episodic Disability and Rehabilitation. The overall goal of Dr. O’Brien’s research program to characterize the episodic nature of disability experienced by people aging with chronic disease, and to evaluate the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions to improve health outcomes, practice, and policy.
As part of the British Academy Visiting Fellowship, Dr. O’Brien will collaborate with Professor Richard Harding at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London to advance our understanding of episodic disability experienced by people living with HIV in the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada. Specifically, she will advance the development of a novel HIV-specific measure of episodic disability for use with people living with HIV called the HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ) and promote integrated knowledge and exchange among faculty, researchers, clinicians and people living with HIV in the form of a collaborative interdisciplinary symposia on rehabilitation in complex chronic disease.
This partnership builds on new and emerging academic-clinical-community collaborations with researchers, clinicians, policy makers, and community organizations in the UK and Canada via the Canada-International HIV and Rehabilitation Research Collaborative (CIHRRC) of which Dr. O’Brien is a founding member (http://cihrrc.hivandrehab.ca/). Results from this collaboration will bridge the traditionally separate fields of HIV and rehabilitation to yield recommendations that will enhance successful aging among people living with chronic disease in the UK and Canada.