After completing 36 missions as a navigator in the RCAF, my father contracted polio while preparing to return to Canada during the Second World War. He spent the following three years living in the Veteran’s hospital in Vancouver upon return to Canada. Growing up, I had numerous opportunities to observe how my father would problem-solve to overcome the mobility barriers he faced on a day-to-day basis. Although he was never trained, nor did he practice as a professional, my father was the first “occupational therapist (OT)” I ever met.
I worked as an OT clinically for 3 years in the field of vocational rehabilitation in Windsor and then Sudbury, Ontario. After moving to London, Ontario to pursue my MSc, I worked in a variety of programs at Parkwood Hospital. In particular, I provided OT services to veterans in a geriatric and dementia program. It was during this time that I became interested in working with the older adult population and switched my research area.
I claim that my life has no real balance…I take breaks from work by watching my daughter’s participation in sports and other endeavors, and by running, cycling, and playing hockey.
My research interests include wheeled mobility devices, determinants of wheelchair use, measurement tools (development and evaluation), balance and ambulation confidence, and assessment of assistive technology (e.g. wheeled mobility devices) used to enable mobility disabled adults (e.g. individuals with lower limb amputation, spinal cord injury, and stroke).
For more information regarding my research, please visit my research website.
I currently coordinate a course on clinical reasoning in the professional entry level curriculum of the MOT program. I also provide research mentorship to both professional entry level and MSc and PhD students. This focus has enabled me to integrate my interest and passion for rehabilitation research with my training in epidemiology into my teaching duties.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Opportunities
Current Research Graduate Students
I currently have five PhD students.
Future Research Graduate Students
Interested graduate students should forward a copy of their resume/cv, transcripts and research interest areas to me. Visit the Rehabilitation Sciences Research Graduate Programs Website for more information
- Member, Canadian Associate of Occupational Therapists
- Member, BC Association of Occupational Therapists
- Member, Canadian Association of Gerontology
- Member, Canadian Society of Epidemiologists
- Member, Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America
- Associate Member, Canadian Stroke Network
- Fellow, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
- Associate Dean Health Professions, UBC Faculty of Medicine
- Associate Director, Rehabilitation Research Program
- Professor, UBC School of Rehabilitation Sciences
- Scientist, Vancouver Coastal Health
- Scientist, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation (VCH)
- Faculty Member, International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries
- Associate Member, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- New Investigator, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2005-2010)
*link to articles provided when possible*
Giesbrecht E, Miller WC, Woodgate R. Even the best laid plans: a qualitative study of older adults’ experience transitioning to wheelchair use. Accepted in BMC Geriatrics.
Giesbrecht E, Miller WC, Boyang T, Mitchell I, Eng JJ. Rehab on Wheels: Tablet-based Wheelchair Training for Older Adults. JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies.
Sakakibara BM, Miller WC. Prevalence of low mobility and self-management self-efficacy in manual wheelchair-users and the association with wheelchair skills. Accepted in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, March 5, 2015.
Field D, Miller WC. Exploring suitable participation tools for children who need or use power mobility: a modified Delphi survey. Accepted Jan 2015 in Developmental Neurorehabilitation.
Field D, Miller WC, Exploring suitable participation tools for children who need or use power mobility: a modified Delphi survey. Accepted December 2014 in Developmental Neurorehabilitation.
Field D, Miller WC, Ryan S, Jarus T, Roxbourogh L. Important elements of measuring participation for children who need or use power mobility: a modified Delphi survey. Accepted for publication in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, Oct 16, 2014.
Mattie J, Borisoff J, Miller WC. User perceptions of existing home access solutions and a novel home access device. Accepted in Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, December 2014.
Mortenson WB et al. The power of power wheelchairs: Mobility choices of community-dwelling, older adults. Accepted in the Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy.
Giesbrecht E, Wilson N, Schneider A, Bains D, Hall J, Miller WC. Preliminary Evidence to Support a ‘Boot Camp’ Approach to Wheelchair Skills Training for Clinicians. Accepted in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Oct 8, 2014.
Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, Rushton PW. Rasch analyses of the Wheelchair Use Confidence Scale. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2014; Early Online: DOI:10.1016/j.apmr.2014.11.005.
Rushton PW, Routhier F, Miller WC, Auger C, Lavoie MP. French-Canadian translation of the WheelCon-M (WheelCon-M-F) and evaluation of its validity evidence using telephone administration. Disabil Rehabil. 2014 Jul 21:1-8. [Epub ahead of print].
Smith E, Sakakibara BM, Miller WC. A review of factors influencing participation in social and community activities for wheelchair users. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology 2014 Dec 4:1-14. [Epub ahead of print].
Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, Ruston PW. Rasch analyses of the Wheelchair Use Confidence Scale. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2014 Nov 25. pii: S0003-9993(14)01268-4. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.11.005. [Epub ahead of print].
Giesbrecht E, Wilson N, Schneider A, Bains D, Hall J, Miller WC. Preliminary Evidence to Support a ‘Boot Camp’ Approach to Wheelchair Skills Training for Clinicians. Accepted in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2014 Oct 24. pii: S0003-9993(14)01170-8. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.10.002. [Epub ahead of print].
Rushton PW, Miller WC, Deathe AB. Minimal Clinically Important Difference of the L Test for Individuals with Lower Limb Amputation: A Pilot Study. Prosthetics & Orthotics International 2014 Aug 18. pii: 0309364614545418. [Epub ahead of print].
Giesbrecht E, Miller WC, Mitchell IM, Woodgate R. Development of a wheelchair skills home program for older adults using a Participatory Action Design approach. BioMed Research International 2014;2014:172434. doi: 10.1155/2014/172434. Epub 2014 Sep 4.
Best KL, Miller WC, Routhier F. A description of manual wheelchair skills training curriculum in entry-to-practice occupational and physical therapy programs in Canada. Early online publication in Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology April 7, 2014.
Best KL, Routhier F, Miller WC. A description of manual wheelchair skills training: Current practices in Canadian rehabilitation centres. Early online publication in Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology April 7, 2014.
Imam B, Miller WC, Finlayson HC, Eng JJ, Payne MWC, Jarus T, Goldsmith CH, Mitchell IH. A Telehealth Intervention Using Nintendo Wii Fit Balance Boards and iPads to Improve Walking in Older Adults With Lower Limb Amputation (Wii.n.Walk): Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research: Research Protocols. 2014;3(4):e80. DOI: 10.2196/resprot.4031
Trenaman L, Miller WC, Escorpizo R. Interventions for improving employment outcomes among individuals with spinal cord injury: A systematic review. Spinal Cord 2014 Nov;52(11):788-794. doi: 10.1038/sc.2014.149. Epub 2014 Sep 2. Review. PMID: 25179659.
Mortenson WB, Miller WC, & Miller-Polgar J. Measurement properties of the late life disability index among individuals who use power wheelchairs as their primary means of mobility. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2014 Oct;95(10):1918-24. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.05.020. Epub 2014 Jun 7. PMID: 24914820.
Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, Eng JJ, Backman CL, Routhier F. Influences of wheelchair-related efficacy on life-space mobility in adult, community-dwelling manual wheelchair-users. Physical Therapy 2014 Nov;94(11):1604-13. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20140113. Epub 2014 Jun 12.
Best KL, Miller WC, Eng JJ, Routhier F, Goldsmith C. Randomized controlled trial protocol feasibility: The Wheelchair Self-Efficacy Enhanced for Use (WheelSeeU). Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 2014; 81(5): 308-319.
Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, Routhier F, Backman CL, Eng JJ. Association between self-efficacy and participation in community-dwelling manual wheelchair users aged 50 or older. Physical Therapy 2014;94:664-674.
Giesbrecht EM, Miller WC, Eng JJ, Mitchell IM, Woodgate RL, Goldsmith CH. Feasibility of the Enhancing Participation in the Community by improving Wheelchair Skills (EPIC Wheels) program: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials 2013;14:350
Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, Eng JJ, Backman CL, Routhier F. The association between self-efficacy and participation in community-dwelling manual wheelchair-users, aged 50 and over. Accepted in Physical Therapy, Dec 2013.
Simpson LA, Eng JJ, Backman CL, Miller WC. Rating of Everyday Arm-Use in the Community and Home (REACH) Scale for capturing affected arm-use after stroke: Development, reliability, and validity. PLoS ONE 8(12): e83405.
Celebrini RG, Eng JJ, Miller WC, Ekegren CL, Johnston JD, Depew A, MacIntyre DL. Effect of a novel movement strategy in decreasing ACL risk factors in female adolescent soccer players: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine Oct 2013.
Imam B, Miller WC, McLaren L, Chapman P, Finlayson H. Feasibility of the Nintendo WiiFittm for improving walking in individuals with a lower limb amputation. Sage Open Medicine August 28, 2013.
Sakakibara BM, Routhier F, Miller WC. Reliability and validity of the French-Canadian Late Life Function and Disability Instrument in older wheelchair-users. Provisionally accepted in the Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy January 2013.
Parvaneh S, Mortenson WB, Miller WC. Validation of the Wheelchair Outcome Measure in residents of long term care. Accepted in Disability & Rehabilitation – Assistive Technology January 2013.
Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, Souza M, Nikolova V, Best KL. Wheelchair skills training to improve confidence with using a manual wheelchair among older adults: A pilot study. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2013 Feb 2. doi:pii: S0003-9993(13)00101-9. 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.01.016. [Epub ahead of print]
Furlan JC, Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, Krassioukov A. A Global Perspective of the Incidence and Prevalence of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury. Accepted in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences December 2012.
Best KL, Desharnais G, Boily J, Miller WC, Camp PG. The effect of a trunk release maneuver on Peak Pressure Index, trunk entrapment and perceived discomfort in older adults seated in a high Fowler’s position: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Geriatrics 2012 Nov 16;12(1):72. PMID: 23157714.
Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, Eng JJ, Backman CL, Routhier F. Preliminary examination of the relationship between participation and confidence in older manual wheelchair users. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Sep 27. doi:pii: S0003-9993(12)00990-2. 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.09.016. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 23022451. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 2.8.
Rushton PW, Miller WC, Kirby RL, Eng JJ. Measure for the assessment of confidence with manual wheelchair use (WheelCon 2.1): Reliability and validity. J Rehabil Med. 2013; 45: 61–67. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1069. PMID: 23138341.
Boronowski LE, Shorter K, Miller WC. Measurement Properties of the Occupational Therapy Discharge Needs Screening Tool. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 2012 Oct;79(4):248-56. PMID: 23210374. Journal Impact Factor = 0.908.
Bodner ME, Rhodes R, Miller WC, Dean E. Benchmarking curriculum content in entry-level health professional education with special reference to health promotion practice in physical therapy: A multi-institutional international study. Advances in Health Sciences Education September 2012 [Epub ahead of print]. Journal Impact Factor = 2.089.
Imam B, Miller WC, Anton H. Measurement properties of a telephone version of the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale among individuals with a traumatic spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord July 2012 Dec;50(12):920-4. doi: 10.1038/sc.2012.79.
Bodner ME, Rhodes R, Miller WC, Dean E. Smoking cessation and counselling: practices of Canadian physical therapists. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2012;43:67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.03.009. PMID: 22704749
Rushton PW, Kirby RL, Miller WC. Manual Wheelchair Skills: Objective Testing versus Subjective Questionnaire. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2012 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print]. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 2.8. PMID:22728701
Mortenson WB, Miller WC, Backman C, Oliffe J.The Association among Mobility, Participation and Wheelchair-Related Factors in Long-term Care Residents Who Use Wheelchairs as a Primary Means of Mobility. Journal of American Geriatrics Society 2012 Jul;60(7):1310-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04038.x. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 22702515
Vaughan K, Miller WC. Validity and reliability of the Chinese translation of the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE). Disability and Rehabilitation 2013;35:191-7. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2012.690498. Epub 2012 Jun 7 PMID:22671717
Kendrick D,Silverberg N, Barlow S, Miller WC. Acquired brain injury self-management program: A pilot study. Brain Injury 2012 2012;26(10):1243-9. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2012.672787. PMID:22658076
Sakakibara BM, Hirtzig SL, Miller WC, Eng JJ and the SCIRE Research Team. An evidence-based review on the influence 1 of aging with a spinal cord injury on subjective quality of life. Accepted in Spinal Cord February 2012.
Yiu J, Miller WC, Eng JJ, Liu Y. Longitudinal Analysis of Balance Confidence in Individuals with Stroke Using a Multilevel Model for Change. Neurorehabilitation and NeuroRepair 2012;8: 999 – 1006. PMID: 22396500
Celebrini RG, Eng JJ, Miller WC, Ekegren CL, Johnston JD, MacIntyre DL. The effect of a novel movement strategy in decreasing ACL risk factors in female adolescent soccer players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2012 Dec;26(12):3406-3417. PMID:22210470
Giesbrecht E, Mortenson WB, Miller WC. Prevalence and facility level correlates of need for wheelchair seating assessment among long-term care residents. Gerontology 2012;58(4):378-84. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1159/000334819. Journal Impact Factor =2.2. PMID: 22222920
Imam B, Miller WC. Reliability and Validity of a Chinese Version of the Frenchay Activities Index. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2012 93(3):520-6. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 2.8. PMID:22209474
Miller WC, Deathe AB. Balance confidence after rehabilitation for lower limb amputation. Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 2011;35:379-85. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 0.634 PMID:21846808
Miller WC, Garden J, Mortenson WB. Validation of the Wheelchair Outcome Measure in individuals with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord 2011;49:995-1000. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 1.9. PMID: 21577219
Mortenson WB, Miller WC, Backman CL, Oliffe JL. Predictors of mobility among wheelchair using residents in long term care. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2011 Oct;92(10):1587-93.
Simpson LA, Miller WC, Eng JJ. Effect of stroke on fall rate, location and predictors: a prospective comparison of older adults with and without stroke. PLoS One. 2011 Apr 29;6(4):e19431.PMID: 21559367
Bodner ME, Miller WC, Rhodes R, Dean E. Smoking cessation and counselling: knowledge and views of Canadian physical therapists. Physical Therapy 2011 Jul;91(7):1051-62. PMID: 21546565
Hammell KW, Miller WC, Forwell SJ, Forman BE, Jacobsen B. Sharing the agenda: probing the politics and practices of occupational therapy. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy 2011;19(3):297-304. PMID: 21631173
Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, Backman CL. Rasch analyses of the Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale with individuals 50 years of age and older with lower limb amputations. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2011; 92(8):1257-63. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 2.8. PMID: 21704978
Mortenson WB, Oliffe JL, Miller WC, Backman C. Grey spaces: The wheeled fields of residential care. Sociology of Health and Illness 2011 June 24. [early online release] Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 2.6.doi10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01371.x. PMID: 21707660
Best KL, Miller WC. Physical Activity in Older Community-dwelling Canadians who use wheelchairs: A population study. Journal of Aging Research April 13;2011:147929. doi:10.4061/2011/147929. PMID: 21584226
Sillem H, Backman C, Miller WC, Li L.Comparison of Two Carpometacarpal Stabilizing Splints for Individuals with Thumb Osteoarthritis. Journal of Hand Therapy 2011 Jul-Sep;24(3):216-25. Journal Impact Factor = 0.612. PMID 21420278
Rand D, Miller WC, Yui J, Eng JJ. Interventions for addressing low balance confidence in older adults; a systematic review and meta-analysis. Age and Aging 2011:40:296-304. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 3.1. doi: 1039/ageing/afr037. PMID: 21508204
Hitzig SL, Eng JJ, Miller WC, Sakakibara BM. Aging Following Spinal Cord Injury: An Evidence-Based Review of Body Systems. Spinal Cord 2011 Jun;49(6):684-701. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 1.9. PMID: 21151191
Bundon A, Hurd Clarke L, Miller WC. Frail older adults and patterns of exercise engagement: Understanding exercise behaviours as a means of maintaining continuity of self. Advanced online publication March 3, 2011 Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise. doi: 10.1080/19398441.2010.541482.
Rushton P, Miller WC, Kirby RL, Eng JJ, Yip J. Development and content validation of the Wheelchair Use Confidence Scale: A mixed-methods study. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology 2011;6:57-66. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 2.1.PMID: 20809874
Harris J, Eng JJ, Miller WC, Dawson A. The role of care-giver involvement in upper limb treatment in individuals with sub-acute stroke. Physical Therapy 2010;90 1302-1310. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 2.7. PMID:20592268
Anaby D, Miller WC, Eng JJ, Jarus T, Noreau L and the Physical Activity and Chronic Conditions Research Group. Participation and well-being among older adults living with chronic conditions. Social Indicators Research, available online April 2, 2010. DOI:10.1007/s11205-010-9611-x. Journal Impact Factor (2-Yr) = 0.85.
Tawashy AE, Eng JJ, Krassioukov AV, Miller WC, Sproule S. Aerobic exercise during early rehabilitation for cervical spinal cord injury. Physical Therapy, 2010;90:427-37. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 2.7. PMID:20093326
Auger C, Demers L, Gélinas I, Miller WC, Jutai J, Noreau L, Depa M. Life-space mobility of middle-aged and older adults at various stages of usage of power mobility devices. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2010;91:765-73. DOI:10.1016/j.apmr.2010.01.018. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 2.8. PMID:20434615
Rushton PW, Miller WC, Mortenson WB, Garden J. What do individuals with spinal cord injury do in their wheelchairs and how satisfied are they with their participation: a cross-sectional study. Spinal Cord 2010;48:691-6. DOI:10.1038/sc.2009.197. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 1.9. PMID:20125106
Auger C, Demers L, Gélinas I, Routhier F, Mortenson WB, Miller WC. Reliability and Validity of the Telephone Administration of the Wheelchair Outcome Measure (WhOM) for Middle-Aged and Older Users of Power Mobility Devices. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2010;42:574-81. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 3.0. PMID:20549163
Hill MR, Noonan VK, Sakakibara BM, Miller WC, and the SCIRE Research Team. Quality of life instruments and definitions in individuals with spinal cord injury: A systematic review. Spinal Cord advance online publication, Dec 23, 2009;48:438-50. DOI:10.1038/sc.2009.164. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 1.9. PMID:20029393
Mortenson WB, Noreau L, Miller WC. Predictors of quality of life after spinal cord injury at 3- and 15- months post discharge. Spinal Cord, 2010;48:73-9. DOI:10.1038/sc.2009.92. Journal Impact Factor (5-Yr) = 1.9. PMID:19636329