Kelly K. O’Brien

Faculty Member

Accepting Students


Research Summary

Kelly is a physical therapist and Canada Research Chair in Episodic Disability and Rehabilitation. She leads an international program of research focused on episodic disability and rehabilitation in the context of conditions including HIV and Long COVID. Kelly is also the Co-Director of the Rehabilitation Science Research Network for COVID and a founding member of the Canada-International HIV and Rehabilitation Research Collaborative (CIHRRC).

Professional Interests

Kelly’s research is focused on episodic disability and rehabilitation in the context of chronic conditions such as HIV and Long COVID. Specific research interests include: measurement and modeling of episodic disability, developing and assessing the properties of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) of disability, and examining effectiveness of physical activity and exercise interventions among adults with chronic disease.

Methodological areas of interest include: measurement, structural equation modeling, implementation science, Rasch analysis, qualitative methods, survey research, and systematic reviews.

Research Foci

  • Episodic disability experienced by adults aging with HIV and chronic disease and persons living with Long COVID
  • Rehabilitation interventions to improve health outcomes for people with chronic disease
  • Patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) development and assessment


Kelly is a member of the community providing groundbreaking perspectives and inspiring contributions that define IHPME.