Laura Rice's directory photo.

Laura Rice

Associate Professor

Primary Affiliation

Cognition, Lifespan Engagement, Aging, and Resilience


Status Affiliate Faculty

Home Department of Kinesiology and Community Health




  • Biography

    Laura A. Rice, PhD, MPT, ATP is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois and Interim Director of the Master of Public Health and Master of Health Administration Programs. Her research focuses on management of secondary impairments associated with physical disabilities and increasing quality of life and community participation. In addition, Dr. Rice is interested in the development of outcome measures to evaluate functional mobility skills. Dr. Rice also remains active as a Seating and Mobility Specialist.


    • B.S., health sciences, Duquesne University, 2003

    • M.S., physical therapy, Duquesne University, 2004

    • Ph.D., rehabilitation science and technology, University of Pittsburgh, 2010

  • Honors

    2023: Distinguished Clinical Award, Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals

  • Research

    Research areas:

    • Development and implementation of Interventions to enhance the Health and Safety of Individuals who use Wheelchairs and Scooters

    • Development and implementation of Assistive Technology to enhance the Health and Safety of Individuals who use Wheelchairs and Scooters

    Research interests:

    • Evaluation of factors that influence Quality of Life and Community Participation among individuals who use Wheelchairs and Scooters

    • Development of Outcome Assessments

    • Education to Enhance Transfer Skills Among Wheelchair Users

    The overall goal of my research is to enhance quality of life and community participation among individuals who experience disability. I build on the theoretical foundations of social cognitive theory and self-efficacy.  Objectives of my research include facilitating positive changes in behavior and increasing confidence in performance of desired activities in a person’s home and community. I work closely with Dr. Deana McDonagh and look forward to engaging with the (dis)Ability Studio.

  • 2023

    • de Freitas, G.R, Abou, L., Rice, L.A. Ilha, J. Measurement Properties of Clinical Instruments for Assessing Manual Wheelchair Mobility in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury: Systematic Review. (2023) Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2023 Apr; 104(4): 656-672 doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.10.002
    • Peters J, Teague A, Halloran K, Sung J, Rice LA, Rice I. (In Press) The influence of gender on shoulder kinematics and head-hip technique during non-level transfers in full-time wheelchair users. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2023 Apr 20;105:105969. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2023.105969. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37087880.
    • Zanotto T, Sosnoff JJ, Backus D, Yarnot R, Worikat NA, Abou L, Peterson EW, Rice LA. (In Press) Characteristics and consequences of falls among people with multiple sclerosis who use wheelchairs or scooters: Differences between injurious and non-injurious falls. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2023 Mar 21;73:104631. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2023.104631. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 36963170.
    • Liechty, T., Woo, M., Rice, L.A., Chiu, C.Y., Kirkpatrick, S., Hankins, K., Hedgspeth, E., Nichols, A., Porter, C., Smeltzer, M., & Adamson, B. (2023) Community Partners’ Perspectives on Partnering with an Academic Research Team to Promote Disability-Inclusive Fitness Programming. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research Education and Action. 2023 Fall; 17(3): 429-437.
    • Abou L, Fliflet A, Hawari L, Presti P, Sosnoff JJ, Mahajan HP, Frechette ML, Rice LA. (2023) Sensitivity of Apple Watch fall detection feature among wheelchair users. Assist Technol. 2022 Sep 3;34(5):619-625. doi: 10.1080/10400435.2021.1923087. Epub 2021 May 25. PubMed PMID: 33900885.
    • Abou L, Rice LA. (2023) Influence of Transfer Quality and Wheelchair Type on Fear of Falling Among Full-Time Wheelchair Users. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2023 Apr;104(4):690-693. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.09.002. Epub 2022 Sep 23. PubMed PMID: 36154833.
    • Abou L, Rice LA. Influence of Transfer Quality and Wheelchair Type on Fear of Falling Among Full-Time Wheelchair Users. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2023 Apr;104(4):690-693. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.09.002. Epub 2022 Sep 23. PMID: 36154833.
    • Abou L, Worobey LA, Rigot SK, Stanley E, Rice LA. (In Press) Reliability of home-based remote and self-assessment of transfers using the Transfer Assessment Instrument among wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord Ser Cases. 2023 Mar 30;9(1):10. doi: 10.1038/s41394-023-00567-5. PubMed PMID: 36990980; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10060131.
    • Abou, L., Fliflet, A., Presti, P., Sosnoff, J.J., Mahajan, H., Frechette, M., Rice, L.A. (In Press) Fall detection from a manual wheelchair: preliminary findings based on accelerometers using machine learning techniques. Assistive Technology 2023 Feb 28;:1-9. doi: 10.1080/10400435.2023.2177775. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 36749900.
    • Adamson, B., Woo, M., Liechty, T., Chiu, C.Y., Wyatt, N., Cranny, C., & Rice, L.A. (2023) Development and pilot testing of the Disability Awareness Training and Education program among community-based group fitness instructors. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. 2023 Jan. 40(2) 323-346.
    • McArthur AR, Peterson EW, Sosnoff J, Backus D, Yarnot R, Abou L, Kish J, Steinkellner S, Sandhu A, Rice L. (2023) Online Delivery of the Individualized Reduction of Falls Intervention for Persons With Multiple Sclerosis Who Use a Wheelchair or Scooter Full-time: A Pilot Study. Int J MS Care. 2023 Mar-Apr;25(2):82-90. doi: 10.7224/1537-2073.2022-044. Epub 2023 Mar 9. PubMed PMID: 36923574; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10010107.
    • Park, G., Sanders, W., Martenies, S., Rosencranz, H., Rice, L.A., Jayasingh-Ramkumar, J., Michaels, S., Aldridge, B. (In Press) Beyond the Imodium, A One Health Discussion on Diarrhea and the Impact of Climate Change. Medical Science Educator. Accepted 18 August 2023. Doi: 10.1007/s40670-023-01865-1
    • Rice, L.A., Li, Ziwei, Kalonji, K., Abou, L., Haridas, N., Horn, G. Best Practices Associated with Residential Fire Preparedness Among Individuals who use a Wheelchair or Scooter Full Time: A Scoping Review. (In Press) JSCM. Accepted 22 October 2023.


    • Abou L, Fliflet A, Zhao L, Du Y, Rice L. (2022) The Effectiveness of Exercise Interventions to Improve Gait and Balance in Individuals with Lower Limb Amputations: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Clin Rehabil. 2022 Jul;36(7):857-872. doi: 10.1177/02692155221086204.
    • Van Denend, T., Peterson, E.W., Sung, J.H., Rice, L.A. (In Press) Process evaluation findings of a fall prevention and management program for wheelchair and scooter users with multiple sclerosis. 2022 Dec; 100081.
    • Abou L, Qin K, Alluri A, Du Y, Rice LA. (2022) The effectiveness of physical therapy interventions in reducing falls among people with multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2022 Jan;29:74-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2021.09.015. Epub 2021 Oct 8. PMID: 35248292.
    • Abou L, Rice LA. (In Press) Predictors of participation enfranchisement of wheelchair users with spinal cord injury in the United States. J Spinal Cord Med. 2022 Jun 24;:1-9. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2022.2087336.
    • Abou L, Rice LA. (In Press) Risk Factors Associated With Falls and Fall-Related Injuries Among Wheelchair Users With Spinal Cord Injury. Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl. 2022 Jun;4(2):100195. doi: 10.1016/j.arrct.2022.100195.
    • Abou L, Rice LA. Frequency and characteristics of falls, fall-related injuries, and fear of falling among wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. (In Press) J Spinal Cord Med. 2022 Aug 9:1-9. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2022.2097995.
    • Abou L, Sosnoff JJ, Peterson EW, Backus D, Willingham TB, Rice LA. (In Press) Prediction of future falls among full-time wheelchair and scooter users with multiple sclerosis: A prospective study. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2022 Jun 11;64:103962. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2022.103962.
    • Abou, L., Rice, L.A. (In Press) The associations between functional independence, quality of life, sitting balance, and wheelchair skills among wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. Journal of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. 2022. Apr 7;:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2022.2057721.
    • Abou, L., Rice, L.A. (In Press) The differences in demographics, fear of falling, transfer quality, and participation enfranchisement between manual and power wheelchair users with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 2022 Oct 27;1-6. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2022.2138998.
    • Frechette M, Fanning J, Hsieh K, Rice L, Sosnoff J. The Usability of a Smartphone-Based Fall Risk Assessment App for Adult Wheelchair Users: Observational Study. (In Press) JMIR Form Res. 2022 Sep 16;6(9):e32453. doi: 10.2196/32453. PMID: 36112405; PMCID: PMC9526126.
    • Frechette ML, Abou L, Rice LA, Sosnoff JJ. (2022) Relationship Between Lower Limb Function and Fall Prevalence in Ambulatory Adults With Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2022 Spring;28(2):153-175. doi: 10.46292/sci21-00026.
    • Peters J, Abou L, Wong E, Dossou MS, Sosnoff JJ, Rice LA. (In Press) Smartphone-based gait and balance assessment in survivors of stroke: a systematic review. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2022 May 18;:1-11. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2022.2072527.
    • Rice LA, Fliflet A, Frechette M, Brokenshire, R., Abou, L., Presti, P., Mahajan, H., Sosnoff, J. Rogers, W. (2022) Insights on an automated fall detection device designed for older adult wheelchair and scooter users: A qualitative study. Disabil Health J. 2022;15(1S):101207. doi:10.1016/j.dhjo.2021.101207.
    • Rice, L.A., Yarnot, R., Sung, J., Sosnoff, J., Backus, D., About, L., Shen, A. Peterson, E. (2022) Pilot Study of a fall prevention and management intervention program for people with multiple sclerosis who use a wheelchair or scooter full-time. Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation. 2022 Dec;4(4):100225. doi: 10.1016/j.arrct.2022.100225
    • Van Denend T, Peterson EW, McArthur AR, Yarnot R, Kish J, Steinkellner S, Sandhu A, Rice LA. (In Press) A process evaluation of an on-line fall prevention and management program for individuals who use wheelchairs or scooters living with multiple sclerosis. Front Public Health. 2022; Dec 12;10:1042668. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.1042668. (Note: Included in the digital book: “Guo F, Zhang X and Lee P (2023) Editorial: Digital information for patient education. Front. Public Health 11:1211285. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1211285”)
    • Worobey, L. A., Hibbs, R., Rigot, S. K., Boninger, M. L., Huzinec, R., Sung, J. H., & Rice, L. A. (2022). Intra- and Interrater Reliability of Remote Assessment of Transfers by Wheelchair Users Using the Transfer Assessment Instrument (Version 4.0). Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 103(4), 816–821.
    • Zanotto T, Rice LA, Sosnoff JJ. (In Press) Frailty among people with multiple sclerosis who are wheelchair users. PLoS One. 2022 Jul 15;17(7):e0271688. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271688.


    • Peters, J., Abou, L., Rice, L. A., Dandeneau, K., Alluri, A., Salvador, A. F., & Rice, I. (2021). The effectiveness of vigorous training on cardiorespiratory fitness in persons with spinal cord injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Spinal cord. 2021 Oct;59(10), 1035–1044. doi: 10.1038/s41393-021-00669-7.
    • Rice, L.A., Yarnot, R., Peterson, E.W., Backus, D., Sosnoff, J.M. (2021) Fall Prevention for People with Multiple Sclerosis Who Use Wheelchairs. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 April; 102 (4): 801-804. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2020.10.107.
    • Abou, L., Alluri, A., Fliflet, A., Du, Y., & Rice, L. A. (2021). Effectiveness of Physical Therapy Interventions in Reducing Fear of Falling Among Individuals With Neurologic Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 2021 Jan;102(1), 132–154. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2020.06.025.
    • Abou, L., Peters, J., Wong, E., Akers, R., Dossou, M. S., Sosnoff, J. J., & Rice, L. A. (2021). Gait and Balance Assessments using Smartphone Applications in Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review. Journal of medical systems, 2021 Aug 15;45(9):87. doi: 10.1007/s10916-021-01760-5.
    • Abou, L., Rice, L.A. (2021) A systematic review of adults’ sitting balance assessments in neurological and neuromuscular conditions. Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2021 Jan; 26 (1): 107-108. doi: 10.17712/nsj.2021.1.20200131
    • Abou, L., Rice, L.A., Frechette, M.L., Sosnoff, J.J. (2021) Feasibility and preliminary reliability and validity of remote sitting balance assessments among wheelchair users. Int J Rehabil Res. 2021 Jun 1;44(2):177-180. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0000000000000458.
    • Abou, L., Wong, E., Peters, J., Dossou, Mauricette, Sosnoff, J., Rice, L.A. (2021) Smartphone applications to assess gait and postural control in people with multiple sclerosis: A systematic review. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. 2021 Jun;15:102943. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2021.102943.
    • Hou X, Liu J, Weng K, Griffin L, Rice LA, Jan YK. (2021) Effects of Various Physical Interventions on Reducing Neuromuscular Fatigue Assessed by Electromyography: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2021;9:659138. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2021.659138.
    • Rice, LA., Yarnot, R., Mills, S., Sonsoff, JJ. (2021) A Pilot Investigation of Anterior Tilt Use Among Power Wheelchair Users. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 2021 Feb; 16(2): 152-159. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2019.1644676.
    • Sung J, Shen S, Peterson EW, Sosnoff JJ, Backus D, Rice LA. (2021) Fear of Falling, Community Participation, and Quality of Life Among Community-Dwelling People Who Use Wheelchairs Full Time. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 Jun;102(6):1140-1146. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2020.11.013.


    • Abou, L., Sung, JH., Sosnoff, JJ., Rice, LA. (2020) Reliability and validity of the Function in Sitting Test (FIST) Among Non-Ambulatory Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury. J Spinal Cord Med. 2020 Nov; 43(6): 846-853. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2019.1605749.
    • Rice, LA., Sung, JH., Keane, K., Peterson, EW, Sosnoff, JJ. (2020) A Brief Fall Prevention Intervention for Manual Wheelchair Users with Spinal Cord Injury: A Pilot Study. J Spinal Cord Med. 2020, Sept; 43 (5): 607-615. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2019.1643070.
    • Abou L, Malala VD, Yarnot R, Alluri A, Rice LA. (2020) Effects of Virtual Reality Therapy on Gait and Balance Among Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2020 May;34(5):375-388. doi:10.1177/1545968320913515.
    • Frechette, M.L., Abou, L., Rice, L.A., Sosnoff, J.J. (2020) The Validity, Reliability and Sensitivity of a Smartphone-based Seated Postural Control Assessment in Wheelchair Users. Front Sports Act Living. 2020 Dec 17; 2:540930. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2020.540930.
    • Worobey, L. A., Rigot, S. K., Boninger, M. L., Huzinec, R., Sung, J. H., DiGiovine, K., & Rice, L. A. (2020). Concurrent Validity and Reliability of the Transfer Assessment Instrument Questionnaire as a Self-Assessment Measure. Archives of rehabilitation research and clinical translation, 2020 Dec;2(4), 100088.


    • Abou, L., Ilha, J., Romanini, F., Rice, L.A. (2019) Do Clinical Balance Measures Have the Ability to Predict Falls Among Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Spinal Cord. 2019 Dec 57(12): 1001-1013 doi: 10.1038/s41393-019-0346-5
    • Rice, IM., Peters, J., Rice, LA., Jan, YK. (2019) Influence of wheelchair user interface and personal characteristics on static and dynamic pretibial skin pressures in elite wheelchair racers, a pilot study. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. 2019 Sep; 42 (5), 613-621 doi: 10.1080/10790268.2018.1508954.
    • Rice, L.A., Peterson, E.W., Backus, D., Sung, J.H., Yarnot, R., Abou, L., VanDenend, T., Shen, S., Sosnoff, J.J. (2019) Validation of an Individualized Reduction of Falls (iROLL) Intervention Program Among Wheelchair and Scooter Users with Multiple Sclerosis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 May; 98(19): e15418 doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000015418.
    • Rice, LA., Peters, J., Sung, JH,., Bartlo, W., Sosnoff, J. (2019) Perceptions of Fall Circumstances, Recovery Methods and Community Participation In Manual Wheelchair Users. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2019 Aug; 98 (8), 649-656 doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001161.
    • Sung, J., Trace, Y., Peterson, E., Sosnoff, J., Rice, LA. (2019) Falls among full-time wheelchair users with spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis: A comparison of characteristics of fallers and circumstances of falls. DisabilRehab 2019 Feb; 41(4): 389-395 doi: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1393111.


    • Dysterheft, J., Chaparro, G., Rice, L.A., Rice, I.M. (2018) Investigating the Outcomes and Perceptions of an Inclusive Aquatic Exercise Class for University Students with Physical Disabilities. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability. 31(1) 41-56.
    • Rice LA, Sung J, Peters J, Bartlo WD, Sosnoff JJ. (2018) Perceptions of fall circumstances, injuries and recovery techniques among power wheelchair users: a qualitative study. Clin Rehabil. 2018 Jul;32(7):985-993. doi: 10.1177/0269215518768385.
    • Rice, L.A. Isaacs, Z., Ousley, C., Sosnoff, J.J. (2018) Investigation of the Feasibility of an Intervention to Manage Fall Risk Among Wheeled Mobility Device users with Multiple Sclerosis. International Journal of Multiple Sclerosis Care. 2018 May-June; 20(3):121-128 doi: 10.7224/1537-2073.2016-097.
    • Rice, LA., Abou, L., vanDenend, T., Peterson, E., Sosnoff, J.J. (2018) Falls Among Wheelchair and Scooter Users with Multiple Sclerosis. US Neurology. Fall 2018; 14(2): 82-7
    • Worobey, L.A., Zigler, C.K., Huzinec, R., Rigot, S.K., Sung, J.H., Rice, L.A. (2018) Reliability and Validity of the Revised Transfer Assessment Instrument (version 4.0). Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. Summer 2018 24(3): 217-226: doi: 10.1310/sci2403-217.