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Elena Donoso Brown

Assistant Professor
Rangos School of Health Sciences
Occupational Therapy

220 Rangos
Phone: 412.396.5450


Ph.D., Rehabilitation Science, University of Washington, 2012
M.S., Occupational Therapy, Duquesne University, 2005
B.S. Health Sciences, Duquesne University, 2004

Education: Earned Bachelor's degree in health sciences and Masters of Science in occupational therapy from Duquesne University and a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Washington.

Clinical Background: Inpatient rehabilitation with a focus in stroke and traumatic brain injury, acute care.

Personal Profile: I have been an OT for 11 years and I am just beginning my career as an educator. I have a young family and enjoy all that Pittsburgh has to offer from great parks and museums to local sports and music.

Dr. DB talks about Living the Spirit: https://youtu.be/aFZLxD_6-UI

Honors/Awards: T-32 Fellow

Teaching and Learning in Action:

Grocery Shopping TOGSSgrocery shopping TOGSS 2 Occupational Performance Evaluation students completing the Test Of Grocery Shopping Skills.

Conference Presentations 2016:

AOTA 2016   

2016 AOTA conference in Chicago, IL

World Congress   

2016 World Congress for NeuroRehabilitation in Philadelphia, PA


Teaching Philosophy:I believe that learning is a collaborative process between the educator and the student. In the process both the students and the educator bring knowledge that can enhance a deeper understanding of the material. Students in my classes are taught how to use evidence and knowledge to make decisions whether that be for a biomechanical intervention or qualitative research methods.

DU Courses I Teach or Co-teach in:

OCCT 535/L: Occupational Performance Evaluation/Lab
OCCT 530/L: Biomechanical Function/Lab*
OCCT 532: Qualitative Research
OCCT 522: Intervention Seminar/Lab*
OCCT 625: Designing Effective Programs
OCCT 650: Instructional Learning Theory & Technology
OCCT 574: Fieldwork Proposal

*Indicates course that are co-taught.


Research Focus: 

  • Support the assessment and rehabilitation of adults with neurological diagnoses
  • Understand methods that can support implementation of rehabilitation recommendations into practice to improve health outcomes and decrease care costs
  • Explore the uses of technology in both measurement of clinical outcomes and the classroom
  • Understand professional development through interprofessional collaborations and learning experiences for students

Current Projects: My current projects include: 1) a series of qualitative investigations of stakeholders in home programming for individuals post stroke, 2) a preliminary investigation of a back brace for individuals with Parkinson's disease, and 3) the validation of a tablet based cognitive assessment for individuals after traumatic brain injury. Future investigations include understand the effect of music on upper extremity home program adherence for individuals post-stroke.


Student authors supervised or co-supervised by Dr. Donoso Brown are noted with an asterisk (*).

Donoso Brown, E. V. & *Fichter, R. (in press). Home programs for upper extremity recovery post-stroke: A survey of occupational therapy practitioners. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation.

Manspeaker, S. A., Donoso Brown, E. V., Wallace, S. E., DiBartola, L., & Morgan, A. (2017). Examining the perceived impact of an ethics workshop on interprofessional values and teamwork. Journal of Interprofessional Care. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/13561820.2017.1336992

Donoso Brown, E. V., & Powell, J.M. (2017) Assessment of unilateral neglect in stroke: Simplification and structuring of test items. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 80(7), 448-452. doi: 10.1177/0308022616685582

Wallace, S.E., Donoso Brown, E., Fairman, A., Beardshall, K., *Olexsovich, A., Taylor, A., & Schreiber, J. (2017). Validation of the Standardized Touchscreen Assessment of Cognition in neurotypical adults. NeuroRehabilitation. 40(3), 411-420. doi: 10.3233/NRE-161428

Donoso Brown, E.; Dudgeon, B.J.; Gutman, K.; Moritz, C.T.; McCoy, S.W. (2015). Understanding upper extremity home programs and the use of gaming technology for persons after stroke. Disability & Health Journal 8(4), 507-513.

Donoso Brown, E.; McCoy, S. W.; Fechko, A. S.; Price, R.;Gilbertson, T.; Moritz, C.T. (2014). A Preliminary Investigation of an Electromyography-controlled Video Game as a Home Program for Persons in the Chronic Phase of Stroke Recovery. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2014.02.025

Hoffman, J.M.; Donoso Brown, E.; Chan, L.; Dikmen, S.; Temkin, N.; Bell, K.R. (2012). Change in Inpatient Rehabilitation Admissions for Individuals with TBI after Implementation of the Medicare IRF-PPS. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93 (8), 1305-1312.

Donoso Brown, E.V., Munoz, J.P., Powell, J.M. (2011). Multicultural training in the United States: A survey of occupational therapy programs. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 25, 2-3, 178-193. 


Research Presentations

2016 Donoso Brown, E.;*Zangara, L., *Olexsovich, A.; Fairman, A. "Comperterized Assessment of Cognition for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury," Poster, American Occupational Therapy Conference, Chicago, IL

2015 Donoso Brown, E.; Powell, J.M. "Considerations for Evidence-Based Unilateral Neglect Assessment," Poster, American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Nashville, TN.

2015 Donoso Brown, E.; Dudgeon, B.J. "Stroke Survivors' Perspectives on Home Exercise Programs and Use of Gaming Technology," Poster, American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Nashville, TN.

2015 Donoso Brown, E.; Kane, A.; *Xue, X.; *Zhou, H.; *Li, W.; *Liu, Q.; McElroy, M.; & Steele, J. "Cultural Integration Program: Promoting Success of Foreign Students in and out of the Classroom," Short Course, American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Nashville, TN.
Contributing authors: Fairman, A., Hansen, A. M.; & DeIuliis, E

2012 Donoso Brown, E.; Rios, D.; Jirikowic, T. "Innovative Uses of Technology in Intervention Throughout the Lifespan," Research Platform, American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

2011 Donoso Brown, E.; Rios, D.; Gilbertson, T.; Lubetzky-Vilnai, A; Gutman, K.; Price, R.; Moritz, C.; Otis, B.; Westcott McCoy, S. "Neurogame Therapy for Children and Adults with Neurological Motor Dysfunction," University of Washington, Justus F. Lehman Day Poster Session, Seattle, WA.

2005 Donoso, E. & Muñoz, J. P. "Multicultural Training: A National Survey of Faculty Perspectives," Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Harrisburg, PA.

2005 Donoso, E. & Muñoz, J. P. "Multicultural Training: A National Survey of Faculty Perspectives," American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Long Beach, CA.

2004 Muñoz, J. P.; Surgeon, J.; Donoso, E. "Multicultural Training: A Study of Student Perspectives," American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Academic Presentations

2016 DeIuliis, E.; Donoso Brown, E. "Navigating the Transition from the Clinic to Academia: Identifying a Path and Creating a Plan," Poster, American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Chicago, IL

2015 DeIuliis, E.; Donoso Brown, E. " Academia as an OT Practice Setting?" Paper Presentation, Penslyvania Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Scranton, PA

2010 "Functional Measures for Hemi-inattention: A Feasibility Study" University of Washington Rehabilitation Medicine Research Seminar, Seattle, WA.

2009 "Occupational Therapy: Skills for the Job of Living," University of Washington, Medical Speech Pathology SPHSC533, Seattle, WA.

2008 "The Rehabilitation Team: Concepts and Practice," University of Washington, Open Session for 1st year Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Prosthetic and Orthotic Students, Seattle, WA.

2007 "Sensory and Perceptual Deficits," Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, Nursing Education Seminar, Schenectady, NY.

2006 "The Rehabilitation Team: Concepts and Practice," Russell Sage College, Student Occupational Therapy Association, Troy, New York

*denotes publications with Duquesne University students