Christine M. McDonough, PT, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, Health Law, Policy & Management
Christine McDonough


Dr. Christine McDonough is research assistant professor in Health Policy and Management in the Health & Disability Research Institute at the Boston University School of Public Health. She is also adjunct clinical assistant professor, orthopaedic surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Research interests include applying contemporary measurement methods such as Item Response Theory (IRT) and Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) as well as current models of health, functioning and disability to the development of measures of status, functioning and clinical outcomes for musculoskeletal and aging research. Dr. McDonough is also interested in the use of evidence to identify high value health care interventions. Dr. McDonough trained as a physical therapist at the University of Vermont and developed a deep interest in Orthopaedics in her first position as a staff physical therapist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She founded and directed an independent physical therapy practice focusing in orthopaedics, sports and geriatrics. After 15 years in clinical practice she undertook graduate studies at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in clinical and health services research, shared decision-making, and health care and policy decision-making, including such tools as economic evaluation and decision analysis. Her doctoral research investigated the measurement characteristics of several widely used instruments to assess clinical outcomes for cost-effectiveness analysis in spine disorders, including the EQ-5D, SF-6D, HUI, and estimated QWB. As a recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, her post-doctoral fellowship research with the Dartmouth Institute and the BU Health & Disability Research Institute provided advanced training and expertise in measurement of health, functioning, and disability using classical and contemporary methods including IRT and CAT. Dr. McDonough has been involved in the development and testing of CAT instruments to measure a range of functioning and health domains. She provides support and consultation for product evaluation through the NIH Center for Rehabilitations Engineering Advances and Technology (TREAT) and the FDA-funded New England Pediatric Device Consortium (NEPDC). As a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) she has serves on the Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry Scientific Advisory Panel, and the editorial board for Physical Therapy Journal. She is currently a member of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Editorial Panel for the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, and the Editor for Clinical Practice Guideline revisions for the Orthopaedic Section of the APTA.


  • Dartmouth College, PhD
  • Dartmouth College, MS
  • University of Vermont, BS

Classes Taught

  • SPHPM830


  • Published on 12/22/2016

    McDonough CM, Ni P, Peterik K, Marfeo EE, Marino ME, Meterko M, Rasch EK, Brandt DE, Jette AM, Chan L. Improving measures of work-related physical functioning. Qual Life Res. 2016 Dec 22. PMID: 28005243.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/1/2016

    Munson JC, Bynum JP, Bell JE, Cantu R, McDonough C, Wang Q, Tosteson TD, Tosteson AN. Patterns of Prescription Drug Use Before and After Fragility Fracture. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Oct 01; 176(10):1531-1538. PMID: 27548843.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/2/2016

    Kapoor A, Shaffer NS, McDonough CM, White DK, Wang N, Rosenkranz P, Glantz A, McAneny D, Doherty GM, Cabral HJ, Gurwitz JH, Fielding RA, Jette AM, Silliman RA. Examining New Preoperative Assessment Tools. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Oct; 64(10):e102-e104. PMID: 27590632.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/5/2016

    McDonough CM, Stoiber E, Tomek IM, Ni P, Kim YJ, Tian F, Jette AM. Sensitivity to Change of a Computer Adaptive Testing Instrument for Outcome Measurement After Hip and Knee Arthroplasty and Periacetabular Osteotomy. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2016 Sep; 46(9):756-67. PMID: 27494055.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/23/2016

    Leininger B, McDonough C, Evans R, Tosteson T, Tosteson AN, Bronfort G. Cost-effectiveness of spinal manipulative therapy, supervised exercise, and home exercise for older adults with chronic neck pain. Spine J. 2016 Nov; 16(11):1292-1304. PMID: 27345747.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2016

    Lurie JD, Henderson ER, McDonough CM, Berven SH, Scherer EA, Tosteson TD, Tosteson AN, Hu SS, Weinstein JN. Effect of Expectations on Treatment Outcome for Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Herniation. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016 May; 41(9):803-9. PMID: 26641853.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/24/2016

    Bynum JP, Bell JE, Cantu RV, Wang Q, McDonough CM, Carmichael D, Tosteson TD, Tosteson AN. Second fractures among older adults in the year following hip, shoulder, or wrist fracture. Osteoporos Int. 2016 Jul; 27(7):2207-15. PMID: 26911297.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2016

    McDonough CM, Ni P, Coster WJ, Haley SM, Jette AM. Development of an IRT-Based Short Form to Assess Applied Cognitive Function in Outpatient Rehabilitation. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Jan; 95(1):62-71. PMID: 26135369.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/14/2015

    Norton G, McDonough CM, Cabral HJ, Shwartz M, Burgess JF. Classification of patients with incident non-specific low back pain: implications for research. Spine J. 2016 May; 16(5):567-76. PMID: 26282103.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/15/2015

    Norton G, McDonough CM, Cabral H, Shwartz M, Burgess JF. Cost-utility of cognitive behavioral therapy for low back pain from the commercial payer perspective. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 May 15; 40(10):725-33. PMID: 25950282.

    Read at: PubMed

View 25 more publications:View full profile at BUMC

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