Margaret O'Neil

Margaret O'Neil, PT, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor

College
Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
Department
Physical Therapy & Kinesiology
Office
Health & Social Sciences Building, Room 377

Expertise

Pediatric rehabilitation; cerebral palsy; physical activity measures and intervention; custom virtual reality games

Research Interests

Maggie O’Neil, Ph.D., is a clinical pediatric rehabilitation researcher. She examines the effectiveness of activity-based interventions and the reliability and validity of objective physical activity measures for ambulatory youth with CP. She partners with computer scientists to design custom active video games and virtual reality experiences to promote fitness and physical activity in youth with CP. O’Neil works on an interprofessional clinical team to design and deliver telehealth home exercise programs for adults with CP.

Education

  • Ph D: Pediatric Rehabilitation, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • MPH: Maternal & Child Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • MS.PT, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • BS: Biology, Providence College, Providence, RI

Biosketch

Maggie O’Neil, PhD, PT, MPH, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy & Kinesiology at The University of Massachusetts, Lowell. O’Neil is a licensed pediatric physical therapist in Massachusetts and New York. She is a pediatric rehabilitation researcher with expertise in objective measures of physical activity and examining the effectiveness of activity-based interventions for people with CP. O’Neil is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Academy of Pediatrics and past chair of the Research Committee. She is an active member of the APTA Academy of Research and the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM). O’Neil leads a national group of academic and clinical experts in writing the APTA clinical practice guidelines on activity-based interventions for ambulatory youth with CP. She is a member of an APTA task force writing a document on physical therapists’ roles in health promotion, fitness and wellness. O’Neil has received research grants from multiple funding agencies including NIH, NIDILRR, APTA and AACPDM. She has many publications and research presentation. O’Neil conducts clinical courses for pediatric physical therapists.

Selected Publications

  • Bhat, A.N., Fiss, A., O'Neil, M., Sansom, J., Heathcock, J., Dusing, S.C. and Christy, J. (2022). Steps to Revising the APTA Pediatrics Research Agenda. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 34(3), 418-420.
  • Luna A, Casertano L, Timmerberg J, O’Neil M, Machowsky J, Leu CS, Lin J, Fang Z, Douglas W, Agrawal S. (2021). Artificial intelligence application versus physical therapist for squat evaluation: a randomized controlled trial. Scientific Reports. Nature Portfolio, 11: 18109.
  • Ahmadi M, O’Neil M, Baque E, Boyd R, Trost SG. (2020). Machine learning to quantify physical activity in children with cerebral palsy: comparison of group, group-personalized and fully-personalized activity classification models. Sensors, 20, 3976.
  • O’Neil ME. (2019). Examining the relationship between weight gain trajectories and pain free interference during transitions from adolescence to adulthood: Informing prevention and intervention strategies. Pain Medicine
  • Landis C, O'Neil ME, Finnegan A, Shewokis PA. (2019). Calculating heart rate variability from ECG data from youth with cerebral palsy During Active Video Game Sessions. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE). 148, e59230.
  • Ahmadi M, O’Neil M, Fragala-Pinkham M, Lennon N, Trost S. (2018). Machine learning algorithms for activity recognition in ambulant children and adolescents with cerebral palsy. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 15(105), 1-9. 
  • Liljenquist K, O’Neil ME, Bjornson K. (2018). Utilization of Physical Therapy Services during Transition for Young People with Cerebral Palsy: A Call for Improved Care into Adulthood. PTJ, 98(9), 796-803.
  • Gannotti M, Bailes AF, Bjornson K, O’Neil ME, Grant-Buettler M, Dusing S. (2017). Pediatric rehabilitation services for children with cerebral palsy: what can existing data sources tell us? Pediatr Phys Ther, 29, 179-186.  
  • Christy JB, Lobo MA, Bjornson KB, Dusing SC, Field-Fote E, Gannotti M, Heathcock J, O’Neil ME, Rimmer J. (2016). Technology for Children with Brain Injury and Motor Disability: Executive Summary from Research Summit IV. Pediatr Phys Ther, 28, 483-489.
  • Trost SG, Fragala-Pinkham M, Lennon N, O’Neil ME. (2016). Decision trees for detection of activity intensity in youth with cerebral palsy. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 48(5), 958-966.
  • Gannotti ME, Bailes A, O’Neil ME, Williams U, DiRezze B, Law M. (2016). Comparative effectiveness research and children with cerebral palsy: identifying a conceptual framework and specifying measures. Pediatri Phys Ther, 28, 58-69.  
  • O'Neil ME, Fragala-Pinkham M, Lennon N, George A, Forman J, Trost SG. (2016). Reliability and validity of objective measures of physical activity in youth with cerebral palsy who are ambulatory. Phys Ther, 96, 37-45.

Selected Presentations

Oral Presentations

  • World Physiotherapy Conference (virtual). Focused Seminar: Pediatric Physical Therapy: Global partnerships to promote physical activity and participation. O’Neil ME (chair, USA), Bloemen M (Netherlands), Liao HF (Taiwan), Yokoyama M (Japan). April 2021.
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Virtual Combined Sections Meeting. Active Video Games: Promoting Fitness and Physical Activity in Ambulatory Youth with Cerebral Palsy. O’Neil ME, Lennon N, Fragala-Pinkham M, Finnegan AG, Liu YC, Ramakrishnan R, Ayaz H, Diefenbach P, Shewokis PA. February 2021.
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Virtual Combined Sections Meeting. 6-Minute Walk Test and Pedi-CAT Outcomes and Determinants of Mobility for Youth with Cerebral Palsy. Fragala-Pinkham M, Lennon N, Trost SG, O’Neil ME. February 2021.
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA. Clinical Reasoning: Video Games and Virtual Reality in Pediatric Physical Therapy. O’Neil ME, McCoy SW, Hsu LY, Levac D, Deutsch JE. February 2018.
  • American Physical Therapy Association, San Antonio, TX.  YOU’VE GOT TO MOVE IT! Applications of Technology for Physical Activity. Duff S, Harris G, Saavedra S, Christy J, Bjornson K, O’Neil ME. February, 2017.
  • American Physical Therapy Association. Combined Sections Meeting, Anaheim, CA.  Active video gaming to promote physical activity in ambulatory youth with cerebral palsy. O’Neil ME, Fragala-Pinkham M, Lennon N, Trost, SG. February 2016.

Poster Presentations

  • American Physical Therapy Association. Combined Sections Meeting. A stakeholder survey using ICF domains to inform a CPG for ambulatory youth with CP. Hedgecock JB, O’Neil ME, Fragala-Pinkham M, Brennan E, Johnson C, Tombeno R, Kaplan SL, Greve K. San Antonio TX. February 22, 2022.
  • Guideline International Network (GIN) Virtual Conference. Consumer priorities for a physical therapy CPG to improve mobility for ambulatory children with cerebral palsy. Greve K, O’Neil M, Fragala-Pinkham M, Brennan E, Johnson C, Tombeno R, Kaplan SL, Hedgecock JB. October 21, 2021.
  • American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, Virtual Conference. Measuring physical activity in non-ambulatory children with cerebral palsy. (Demonstration Poster). Mensah N. O’Neil ME, Quinn L. October 8, 2021.
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Annual Virtual Conference. Evidence to support physical therapy management of childhood obesity and the pediatric obesity syndrome: A scoping review. Branton JM, Wrotniak BH, O'Neil ME. November 2, 2020.
  • American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, Virtual Conference.  An Integrated Collaborative Model to Promote Shared Decision Making in the Clinical Management of Cerebral Palsy. Jezequel J, Selber P, Gannotti M, Frumberg D, Liquori B, O’Neil ME. September 24, 2020.
  • American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, Anaheim, CA. Physical Activity Level and Aerobic Demand during Active Video Game Play in Ambulatory Youth with Cerebral Palsy. O'Neil ME, Lennon N, Fragala-Pinkham M, Landis C, Finnegan AG, Liu Y, Ramakrishnan A, Ayaz H, Diefenbach PJ, Shewokis PA. September 20, 2019.
  • American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, Anaheim, CA. Measuring Physical Activity During Functional Tasks in Ambulatory Youth with Cerebral Palsy.  O'Neil ME, Dagan, M, Mensinger J, Chopski SG, Wojciechowicz C, Feehan K, Turchi R. September 20, 2019.
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Combined Sections Meeting, Washington DC. Measuring Physical Activity Intensity in Youth with CP who are Ambulatory: Considerations for ‘Dosing’ PT Interventions. O’Neil ME, Dagan M, Chopski S, Mayer A, Lint S, Jurcik D, Brody M, Betta J, Goetschius C, Kondrad M, Feehan K, Turchi R. January 23, 2019.
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA. Customized Active Video Games for Youth with Cerebral Palsy: Parent and Youth Perspectives. O’Neil ME, Shewokis, PA, Lennon, N, Finnegan AG, Gray R, Diefenbach PJ. February 22, 2018.
  • American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, Montreal Quebec, CA. Is Oxygen Cost Stable Across Three Self-Selected Walking Speeds in Ambulant Youth with CP at GMFCS Levels I, II and III? O’Neil M, Lennon N, Fragala-Pinkham M, Trost SG. September 13, 2017.
  • American Physical Therapy Association. IV Step. Columbus, OH. Active video games to promote physical activity in ambulatory youth with CP. O’Neil, Fragala-Pinkham, Lennon, Trost. July 17, 2016.
  • International Conference on Cerebral Palsy and other Childhood-onset Disabilities. Stockholm, Sweden. enAble Games: Designing active video games to promote fitness and physical activity in youth with cerebral palsy. O’Neil ME, Shewokis PA, Ayaz H, Gray RC, Diefenbach PJ. June 1, 2016.

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • NIH R01 NICHD – RFA-HD-20-005. 07/2020-05/2025
    Columbia University Morningside.  Agrawal (PI)
    Title: Improving seated postural control and upper extremity function in bilateral CP with a robotic Trunk-Support-Trainer (TruST).  (Role: Co-I)   
  • APTA Mentored Research Grant. 01/2021-06/2022
    Columbia University Morningside. Mensah (PI)
    Title: Measuring Physical Activity in Non-Ambulatory Youth with CP, GMFCS IV-V during daily routines (Role: mentor)
  • DOD MA150167. 07/2016-12/2019
    Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) Finkelstein (PI)
    Title: Physical telerehabilitation in patients with multiple sclerosis with significant mobility impairment. (Role: Key personnel) 
  • NIH 1 R21 HD 086745. 09/2016-08/2019
    Drexel University
    Title: Machine learning algorithms to measure physical activity (PA) in children with cerebral palsy (CP) (Role: PI)
  • Drexel Coulter Translational Grant Program. 07/2015-12/2016
    Title: KOLLECT: VR rehabilitation for youth with CP. (Role: Co-PI)