University of Vermont

College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Susan Kasser

Susan Kasser, Ph.D.

Exercise and Movement Science Program Director
Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Movement Science


Sue KasserOffice: 306D Rowell
Phone: (802) 656-7742
Email: Susan.Kasser@uvm.edu

Dr. Susan Kasser’s teaching and research within the Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science centers around physical activity and exercise in clinical populations. Her scholarship focuses on identifying the underlying mechanisms of postural dyscontrol in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and evaluating exercise-based interventions aimed at mitigating balance impairment and reducing falls in those with the disease. Dr. Kasser also has extensive clinical experience. For the past 16 years, she has served as Director of MS IDEAL, a campus-based program offering tailored exercise and balance training programs for people with MS. She has over 20 years of teaching experience within community and school-based programs and remains a strong advocate for including individuals with varying ability levels into all aspects of physical activity.

Education

Ph.D., Oregon State University, 1997
M.S., University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, 1984
B.S., University of New Hampshire, 1982

Courses Taught

EXMS 150 - Introduction to Exercise Science
EXMS 260 - Adapted Physical Activity
EXMS 263 - Exercise Prescription for Special Populations

Research Interests

Postural control and fall risk in adults with multiple sclerosis
Physical and psychological outcomes of exercise for individuals with multiple sclerosis
Physical activity and health in people with multiple sclerosis

Current projects include:

  • Neuromotor control of posture in people with multiple sclerosis
  • Variability in gait and postural control in adults with multiple sclerosis
  • Relationship among balance, fear of falling, and physical activity levels in adults with multiple sclerosis
  • Falls and loss of balance in people with multiple sclerosis
  • Outcomes of functional training/core strengthening programs on postural control and fitness in adults with multiple sclerosis
Selected Publications

Kasser SL, Jacobs JV. Understanding and treating balance impairment in multiple sclerosis. JCOM 2014;21(9): 419-431.

Kasser SL, Jacobs JV, Littenberg B, Foley JT, Cardinal BJ, Maddalozzo GF. Exploring physical activity in women with multiple sclerosis: associations with fear of falling and underlying impairments. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2014;93:461-469. PMID: 24398582.

Padgett P, Kasser SL. Exercise for managing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Phys Ther J 2013; 93:723-728.

Kasser SL, Rizzo T. An exploratory study of fitness practitioner intentions toward fitness programming for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Disabil Health J 2013;6:188-194. PMID: 23769477.

Kasser SL, Lytle RK. Inclusive physical activity: promoting health for a lifetime (2nd Ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2013.

Padgett PK, Jacobs JV, Kasser SL. Is the BESTest at its best? A suggested brief version based on inter-rater reliability, validity, internal consistency, and theoretical construct. Phys Ther J 2013;92(9):1197-1207.

Kasser SL, Kosma M. Health beliefs and physical activity behavior in adults with multiple sclerosis. Disabil Health J 2012;5(4):261-268.

Jacobs JV, Kasser SL. Balance impairment in people with multiple sclerosis: Preliminary evidence for the Balance Evaluation Systems Test. Gait Posture 2012;36(3):414-8.

Jacobs JV, Kasser SL. Effects of dual tasking on the postural performance of people with and without multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. J Neurol 2011;259(6):1166-1176. (Abstract)

Kasser SL, Jacobs JV, Foley JT, Cardinal BJ, Maddalozzo GF. A prospective evaluation of balance, gait, and strength to predict falling in women with multiple sclerosis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2011;921840-6. (Abstract)

Kasser SL. (2009). Exercising with multiple sclerosis: insights into meaning and motivation. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly 2009;26(3),274-289. (Abstract)

Kasser SL, Lytle R. Inclusive physical activity across the lifespan. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 2005.

Kasser SL, McCubbin JA, Hooker K. Variability in constraints and functional competence in adults with multiple sclerosis. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2003;82(7),517-525. (Abstract)

Kasser SL, Stuart ME. Psychological well-being and exercise behavior in adults with and without multiple sclerosis. Clin Kines 2001;55 (4),81-86.

Kasser SL, Rose DJ, Clark S.  (1999). Balance training for adults with multiple sclerosis: multiple case studies. Neurol Report 1999,; 23(1),5-12.

Research Grants
  • Research Incentive Grant, CNHS University of Vermont, 2012-2013.
    Effects of functionally-based sensori-motor exercise on strength, balance, mobility, and physical activity in adults with multiple sclerosis. Role: PI.
  • Research Incentive Grant. CNHS University of Vermont, 2009-2010.
    Effects of cognitive-motor dual-tasking on postural control in adults with multiple sclerosis. Role :PI.
  • Research Incentive Grant, CNHS University of Vermont, 2008-2009.
    Health beliefs, intention and exercise behavior in multiple sclerosis. Role :PI. 
  • Research Incentive Grant, CNHS University of Vermont, 2008-2009.             
    Psychological health, falls and physical activity in adults with multiple sclerosis. Role :PI.
Mentored Research Activities
  • Honor’s College Thesis, University of Vermont, Kelly Groll, 2011-2012.
    Disease-related and cognitive-behavioral factors associated with physical activity in adults with multiple sclerosis.
  • URECA/Faculty Mentoring grant, University of Vermont, Kristen LeClerc, 2011-2012.                     
    Relationship among balance, stress, coping and physical activity in adults with multiple sclerosis.
  • URECA/Faculty Mentoring grant, University of Vermont, Amy Steadman, 2009-2010.             
    Fear of falling, balance, and physical activity levels in adults with multiple sclerosis.
Professional Affiliations

North American Federation of Adapted Physical Activity
Multiple Sclerosis Consortium
Greater New England Chapter National Multiple Sclerosis Society





Last modified September 15 2014 11:11 AM