Skip to main content

Dr. Kelli Allen’s over-arching research goal is to improve care and outcomes for individuals with osteoarthritis, as well as other musculoskeletal and rheumatological conditions. There conditions are leading cases of pain and disability. Research has shown that non-pharmacological therapies (e.g., exercise, rehabilitation, psychological interventions) can improve outcomes for individuals with these conditions. However, these therapies are underutilized. Dr. Allen’s work focuses on bridging this evidence-to-practice gap.

Her team conducts pragmatic clinical trials, focused on developing and testing behavioral and health services interventions that can be incorporated into real-world clinical settings. The team works closely with various health care providers, including physical therapists, to integrate these interventions into practice. Examples include an intervention to enhance standard rehabilitation practice following total knee replacement, a telephone-based physical activity coaching program for patients with knee osteoarthritis, and delivery models including group physical therapy and stepped or adaptive exercise-based programs.

Dr. Allen’s research team also addresses disparities in osteoarthritis outcomes, particularly among Black individuals and military Veterans, who face a disproportion burden of this conditions. The team’s work seeks to understand reasons underlying these disparities and develop interventions that are tailored toward these individuals and the health care systems in which they receive care.