Faculty Profiles


Magasi, Susan

Academic Title

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy

Contact Info

Phone: 312-996-4603
Email: smagas1@uic.edu
Office Location: 1919 W. Taylor St. (AHSB), Room 327

Program Affiliations

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), PhD in Disabilities Studies, Master of Science in Disability and Human Development

Brief Bio

Susan Magasi, PhD (Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy). Dr. Magasi earned her PhD in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Upon completion of her post-doctoral fellowships in outcomes and health services research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Magasi joined David Cella’s Center for Outcomes Research and Education before accepting a faculty position in the Department of Medical Social Science at Northwestern University. Dr. Magasi served as a co-investigator on several major NIH-funded instrument development initiatives including the NIH Toolbox Assessment for Neurological and Behavioral and the NIH PROMIS Initiative. Dr. Magasi is a qualitative methodologist on numerous federal, foundation and industry-sponsored research grants. A frequent guest lecturer in qualitative methods, Dr. Magasi has presented her qualitative work nationally and internationally. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming special issue “Current Thinking in Qualitative Research: Evidence-based practice, moral philosophies, and political struggle” in the journal OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health.

Dr. Magasi is deeply committed to the identification and elimination of health and healthcare disparities experienced by people with disabilities. Based on a deep-seated belief that people who experience health and participation inequities are best situated to identify both the source of their own inequities and potential solutions, she favors the use of mixed methods research within a community-based participatory research model.


My research focuses on 3 related areas of emphasis: 1) the application of mixed methods and community-engaged research aimed at the reduction of inequities in healthcare access, outcomes and quality experienced by people with disabilities, 2) the development of valid and accessible performance-based and patient-reported outcomes measures for use in among people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions, and 3) the application of rigorous qualitative methods to understand the factors that contribute to health related quality of life among people with chronic medical conditions and disabilities, such as cancer, heart disease and heart failure.

Current Research:
I am currently the principal investigator on mixed methods community-based participatory cancer control and population science grant from the American Cancer Society of Illinois aimed at understanding the root causes of breast and cervical cancer screening disparities among women with disabilities and their non-disabled peers. I am a co-investigator on several patient reported outcome measure development studies, including a study funded by the American Heart Association Midwest Division to develop am easure of health related quality of life for people receiving mechanical circulatory support (PI: K. Grady at Northwestern University) and a study funded by the developing measures of environmental factors for use in disability and rehabilitation populations funded by NIDRR (PI A. Heinemann at the RIC). I am the lead qualitative methodolgist in the NIH PROMIS Statistical Center (PI: D. Cella at Northwestern University).

Selected Publications

Original Research

Magasi S. Negotiating the social service systems: A vital but frequently invisible occupation. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health, 2012; 32(1) Suppl: S25-S33, DOI: 10.3928/15394492-20110906-03

Magasi S, Mallick R, Kaiser K, Patel JD, Johnson ML, Kaplan EH, Cella D. The importance and relevance of pulmonary symptoms among patients receiving second and third-line treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer: support for the content validity of the 4-item Pulmonary Symptom Index. Clinical Lung Cancer advance online. DOI: 10.1016/j.cllc.2012.07.001

Reuben DB, Magasi S, McCreath HE, Bohannon RW, Wang YC, Bubela DJ, Rymer WZ, Beaumont J, Rine RM, Lai JS, Gershon RC. NIH Toolbox motor domain development and validation testing. Neurology, 2013; 80(Suppl 3): S65-75.

Methodological Considerations

Magasi S, Ryan G, Revicki D, Lenderking W, Hays RD, Brod M, Snyder C, Boers M, Cella D. Content validity of patient reported outcomes: perspectives from a PROMIS meeting. Quality of Life Research. 2012; 21(5): 739-746. DOI: 10.1007/s11136-011-9990-8, PMID: 21866374

Papadimitriou C, Magasi S, Frank G. Current Thinking in Qualitative Research: Evidence-based practice, moral philosophies, and political struggle. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health, 2012; 32(1) Suppl: S2-S5, DOI: 10.3928/15394492-20111005-01

Community Service


PhD in Disability Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2005
MS in Occupational Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2002
BScOT, McGill University, 1995
BSc. General Science, University of New Brunswick, 1992

Post-Doctoral Fellowship is Rehabilitation Outcomes Research and Healthcare Studies, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Institute for Healthcare Studies, 2006-2007

Professional Experience

2009-2012 - Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
2008-2009 - Research Scientist, Center for Outcomes, Research, and Education, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare’s Research Institute, Evanston, IL