Clinical Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science

Dr. Reuben Escorpizo is a rehabilitation clinician scientist and academic with established work in the biopsychosocial framework of the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), methodology, and outcomes measurement. He uses these principles in his teaching, scholarship, service, and clinical practice. Dr. Escorpizo is consulted nationally and internationally in relation to teaching, practice, and research of rehabilitation, physical therapy, outcome measurement, instrument development and validation, and the ICF. He co-led the development of the Clinical Practice Guideline for Physical Therapists through the APTA and the Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy and invited to the APTA Movement System Summit. He is a leading figure in international efforts to investigate the biopsychosocial evaluation of functioning and disability using quantitative, classical psychometrics and item response theory, and qualitative approaches. He has published 1 book, 22 book chapters/e-chapters, over 130 publications, and has numerous invited keynotes and visiting professorships. He has been invited to international scientific committees and task forces like the ICF-Pain Task Force of the International Association for the Study of Pain, the International SCI Community Study, the ISCOS Core Data Set Committee for Vocational Rehabilitation, the OMERACT Worker Productivity Group, and the Contextual Factors Group, and the Rehabilitation International World Congress Program Committee. He is the U.S. national coordinator for the International Spinal Cord Injury Study (InSCI), an international cohort study on community-dwelling individuals with SCI. Dr. Escorpizo was appointed as the inaugural Section Chief Editor of "Disability, Rehabilitation, and Inclusion" of the journal Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences. He co-developed the Work Rehabilitation Questionnaire (WORQ), a questionnaire used in rehabilitation settings and translated into multiple languages worldwide. He practices in a general outpatient clinic of the University of Vermont Medical Center and sees diverse patients including those referred for work rehabilitation and pre-surgical and post-surgical rehabilitation.

Research and/or Creative Works

  • International Spinal Cord Community Survey (U.S. collaborators: Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University, University of Texas-Medical Branch, and University of North Texas Health Science Center)
  • Work Rehabilitation Questionnaire cross-cultural adaptation and validation
  • ISCOS Core Data Set for Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Sustained employment of persons with SCI and acquired brain injuries Disability evaluation and assessment in various populations


Escorpizo R, Theotokatos G, Tucker CA. A Scoping Review on the Use of Machine Learning in Return-to-Work Studies: Strengths and Weaknesses. J Occup Rehabil. 2023 Jun 28. doi: 10.1007/s10926-023-10127-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37378718.

Hickey M, Barry D, Redito J, Anand N, Bianchi N, Reneman M, Escorpizo R. Content validity of patient-reported outcome measures for patients with chronic pain: considering the patient's perspective. Pain. 2023 Feb 1;164(2):252-257. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002714. Epub 2022 May 15. PMID: 35975878.

Karcz K, Trezzini B, Escorpizo R, Finger ME. Factors associated with sustaining work with chronic spinal cord injury: a scoping review. Disabil Rehabil. 2022 Dec;44(24):7723-7738. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2021.1988736. Epub 2021 Nov 16. PMID: 34781795.

Bousfield K, Cheon JY, Harley S, Lampiris-Tremba A, Loseby J, Bianchi N, Barnes A, Escorpizo R. What are the Predictors of Return to Work for People With Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Conditions? A Systematic Review. J Occup Rehabil. 2022 Sep;32(3):380-413. doi: 10.1007/s10926-021-09997-0. Epub 2021 Jul 26. PMID: 34309763.

Daley D, Payne LP, Galper J, Cheung A, Deal L, Despres M, Garcia JD, Kistner F, Mackenzie N, Perry T, Richards C, Escorpizo R. Clinical Guidance to Optimize Work Participation After Injury or Illness: The Role of Physical Therapists. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2021 Aug;51(8):CPG1-CPG102. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2021.0303. PMID: 34338006.

Chiang YC, Liou TH, Lee HC, Escorpizo R. Using WHODAS 2.0 to Assess Functional Impairment in People with Depression: Should Employment Receive More Attention? Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 25;18(9):4552. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094552. PMID: 33923012; PMCID: PMC8123322.

View additional publications on PubMed >>

Awards and Recognition

  • Dean's Excellence in Research Award, 2023
  • Nominee, Dean's Excellence Award in Teaching, 2019-2020
  • Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences Award for Leadership, 2021
  • APTA Educator Influencer Award based on work on Movement System and UVM Curriculum, 2020

Associations and Affiliations

  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
  • International Spinal Cord Society (ISCOS)
Reuben Escorpizo

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Functioning and disability, work rehabilitation, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, outcomes measurement, instrument development and validation, clinical practice guideline, general physical therapy


  • Post-Clinical Doctorate, Department of Health Sciences and Medicine; University of Luzern
  • Fellowship, Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT)
  • D.P.T.; Des Moines University
  • M.S., Kinesiology (Occupational Biomechanics); York University
  • B.S., Physical Therapy; Liceo University


  • 802-656-3252
Office Location:

306-A Rowell Building

Courses Taught

  • DPT 7140 - Clinical Reasoning
  • DPT 7080 - (NH 6899) Fundamentals of Critical Inquiry
  • DPT 7200 - Musculoskeletal Management I
  • DPT 7930 - Evidence-Based Practice in PT
  • DPT 7220 - Musculoskeletal Management III
  • DPT 7130 - Movement System III
  • IHS 7020 - Applying the ICF Model in IHS