Dr. Kelly O’Brien

Episodic Disability and Rehabilitation Research Lab

The Episodic Disability and Rehabilitation Research Lab is a centre led by Dr. Kelly O’Brien located at the Rehabilitation Sciences Building at the University of Toronto.  At this centre, Dr. O’Brien leads an internationally recognized program of research in episodic disability, HIV and rehabilitation with the aim of better understanding the episodic nature of disability experienced by people living with HIV and determining the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions to advance care, programs, policy and practice.

Research program objectives:

1) profile the episodic nature of disability among people living with HIV over time.

2) determine the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions in order to reduce disability and improve the health of people living with HIV.

3) further establish the measurement properties of the HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ), a new self-administered instrument developed by our team to describe the presence, severity and fluctuating nature of disability for people living with HIV.

The Episodic Disability and Rehabilitation Research Program involves an international, multidisciplinary academic-clinical-community partnership of over 20 researchers, clinicians, people living with HIV, policy stakeholders, and community organization representatives with expertise in HIV, chronic disease, disability and rehabilitation, measurement, exercise, and health services research. This research is conducted in partnership with the Canada-UK-Ireland HIV and Rehabilitation Research Collaborative, an international network of over 60 members Dr. O’Brien co-founded to advance and translate HIV and rehabilitation research.

The Episodic Disability and Rehabilitation Research lab provides opportunities for graduate trainees to build research capacity through mentoring and training in episodic disability and rehabilitation research in the context of HIV and chronic illness.