Deborah A. O'Rourke, PT, PhD

Clinical Professor of Rehabilitation and Movement Science

Deborah O'Rourke Office: 306B Rowell
Phone: (802) 656-2672

Dr. Deb O'Rourke is a clinical professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science. Prior to assuming a position as a clinical faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Vermont in 1987, she practiced in the clinical areas of pediatrics and neurological rehabilitation in Canada for 13 years. Her teaching responsibilities in the physical therapy program are in the areas of motor development, pediatrics, developmental disabilities and pain. She is also a faculty member with the Vermont Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for Health Professionals (VT-ILEHP) Program, a training grant funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau to prepare leaders to serve children with developmental disabilities and their families. Her research interests are in the areas of pediatric pain and health-related quality of life in children with disabilities. This reflects her educational background in the disciplines of physical therapy and psychology.


PhD, University of Vermont, Psychology, 2000
MA, University of Vermont, Psychology, 1996
MCl.Sc, Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, 1985
BSc, Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, 1978
Diploma, Physiotherapy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1974

Selected Publications

Engel, J.M. & O'Rourke, D.A.(2007). Chronic pain in children: Physical medicine and rehabilitation In: R.F. Schmidt & W.W. Willis (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Pain (pp. 368-371). Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

O'Rourke, D.A. (2004). The measurement of pain in infants, children and adolescents: from policy to practice. Physical Therapy, 84, 560-570.

Selected Presentations

O'Rourke, D.A., Owen Sands, P., Barnard, P., Potvin, M.C., MacLeod, M., Wilcox, D. (2010). A statewide interdisciplinary journal club to promote evidence-based practice in pediatrics using interactive television. Abstract/poster presentation, APTA Combined Sections Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Benson, D.H., Grossman, R.S., Oliver, H.S. & O'Rourke, D.A. (2009). The association between severity of disability and family impact in cerebral palsy. Abstract/poster presentation, CPA Congress, Calgary, Alberta.

O'Rourke, D.A. & Favro, M.A. (2008). Pain in individuals with complex communications needs: A problem that needs attention. Abstract/platform presentation, the 13th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Montreal, Que.

O'Rourke, D.A., Bjornson, K.F., Engel, J.M., Jensen, M.P. & McLaughlin, J.F. (2006). Comparison of parent and youth reports of health-related quality of life in cerebral palsy. Abstract/platform presentation, APTA Combined Sections Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Professional Affiliations

American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
American Physical Therapy Association
American Psychological Association
International Association for the Study of Pain
Society for Research in Child Development