Doug Gross, PT, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation - Physical Therapy


Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation - Physical Therapy
(780) 492-2690
3-28 Corbett (E.A.) Hall
8205 - 114 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G4




  • Diploma in Work Disability Prevention Research - University of Sherbrooke - 2009 
  • PhD - Physical Therapy - University of Alberta - 2003
  • BSc - Physical Therapy - University of Alberta - 1997


  • Licensed to practice physiotherapy since 1997
  • Worked clinically in both private practice and occupational rehabilitation centres
  • Completed graduate studies and started work in the UofA's PT department in 2003
  • Interim PT department chair from July 2014 to June 2016
  • Director of the Rehabilitation Research Centre since 2012


Dr. Gross studies the prevention of disability in people with physical and mental health disorders. This includes investigating the effectiveness of clinical and public health interventions, the validity of clinical decision support and other assessment tools, as well as factors associated with disability. He has given numerous national and international presentations and published over 100 peer-reviewed articles. 

Dr. Gross is Director of the Rehabilitation Research Centre (RRC).

Dr. Gross is a Senior Associate Editor with the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation


University of Alberta Courses:

PTHER 572 - Basic Concepts in Evidence-Based Practice

REHAB 601 - Research Design in Rehabilitation Science

Dr. Gross is a graduate supervisor at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. He currently supervises or co-supervises 5 PhD and 1 MSc student.


2018 'Great Supervisor' Award recipient from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

2017 Award for Research Excellence at the Safe, Healthy, and Productive Workplaces Conference: Learning from Research and Practice.  Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability. June 1-3, 2017, Vancouver, British Columbia.


REHAB 601 - Research Design in Rehabilitation Science

An orientation to the unique features of rehabilitation science that impact on research methodology, design, ethical issues, measurement, and statistical analyses. Issues such as chronicity of disease, low incidence of specific conditions resulting in small sample sizes, small increments of change over long periods of time, ordinal data, wide variability in patient characteristics, group data versus single subject data, etc. will be studied in terms of appropriate research design, measurement, and analyses.

Winter Term 2021

Browse more courses taught by Doug Gross

Scholarly Activities

Research - Public Health Strategies

Mass media campaigns have been used to educate the general public on how to manage low back pain. Dr. Gross and collaborators evaluate these campaigns as well as other public health initiatives to determine their impact on beliefs about back pain and related behaviours including, work disability, and the use of health care resources.

Research - Work Assessment

Various performance and self-report tests are used by clinicians to inform return-to-work decision making for injured workers. Dr. Gross is working to evaluate commonly used assessment tools and develop innovative tools to improve clinical decision making.

Research - Work Disability Prevention

Dr. Gross and collaborators are working to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of novel interventions and research methodologies related to work disability prevention.  He is also develop more accurate clinical decision-support tools for return to work.


A Framework for Establishing Connections in Physiotherapy Practice
Author(s): Miciak M, Mayan M, Brown CA, Joyce A, Gross DP
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
Page Numbers: 807-815
External Link:
Prevention and treatment of low back pain: evidence, challenges, and promising directions
Author(s): Foster NE, Anema JR, Cherkin D, Chou R, Cohen SP, Gross DP, Ferreira P, Fritz J, Koes B, Peul W, Turner JA, Maher CG on behalf of the the Lancet Low Back Pain Series Working Group
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Lancet
Volume: S0140-6736(18)30489-6
External Link:
Long-Term Evaluation of a Canadian Back Pain Mass Media Campaign
Author(s): Suman A, Bostick GP, Schopflocher D, Russell AS, Ferrari R, Battié MC, Hu R, Buchbinder R, Gross DP
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: European Spine Journal
Volume: 26
Page Numbers: 2467-2474
External Link:
Reducing the Global Burden of Work Disability: A Call to Action to Support the World Health Organization’s Rehabilitation 2030
Author(s): Michael Feuerstein, Patricia A. Findley, Douglas P. Gross
Publication: Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Volume: 29
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 669-670
External Link:
Validity of the Work Assessment Triage Tool for Selecting Rehabilitation Interventions for Workers’ Compensation Claimants with Musculoskeletal Conditions
Author(s): Douglas P. Gross, Ivan A. Steenstra, William Shaw, Parnian Yousefi, Colin Bellinger, Osmar Zaïane
Publication: Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Volume: Published online
Page Numbers: 1-13
External Link: