Linda Tickle-Degnen, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Linda Tickle-Degnen, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Linda Tickle-Degnen, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Dr. Tickle-Degnen is Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts and Director of the Health Quality of Life Lab. Her research is directed toward understanding and promoting positive social functioning and wellness in Parkinson's disease and other chronic conditions. In particular, she studies nonverbal and verbal communication, cross-cultural health care interactions, interpersonal rapport, engagement in meaningful daily activities, and quality of life. She is interested in increasing occupational therapists' participation in inter- and multidisciplinary clinical interventions and research activities that have the goal of improving the health and quality of life of individuals with chronic conditions. (Retrieved on October 6, 2015 from http://ase.tufts.edu/hql/people.asp.)


Identify three words that others have used to describe you.
Big picture person, Mentor, Interdisciplinary.

How do you hope to make a difference in the world through research?
I hope to build the capacity of research in OT by mentoring interdisciplinary researchers and also to provide strong models of programmatic research through my work in Parkinson's disease and caregiving.

What is one piece of advice you have for individuals considering a career in science and research?
Choose an area that will entice you for life! It has to be something very close to the heart.

Beside your own areas of inquiry, what is one research priority that you believe is important for the future of occupational science and occupational therapy?
Research that contributes to developing community health & wellness models of OT.

Describe the most important role that mentors played in your professional journey.
They taught me to not be afraid of the complex problems and to keep going after them, not giving up.

Identify a favorite occupation that renews you outside of your work.
Yoga, biking, kayaking, skiing, drumming, and hiking -- I love it all!

What has been the most surprising or rewarding aspects of a career in science and research?
Seeing occupational therapy science & research come to be recognized (nationally and internationally) as fundamentally important to the entire health endeavor.


Bogart, K, Tickle-Degnen, L & Ambady N. (2014). Communicating without the face: Holistic perception of emotions of people with facial paralysis. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 36, 309-320.

Foster, ER, Bedekar, M & Tickle-Degnen L. (2014). Systematic review of the effectiveness of occupational therapy-related interventions for people with Parkinson's disease. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, 39-49.

Gray, H. M., & Tickle-Degnen, L. (2010). A meta-analysis of performance on emotion recognition tasks in Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychology, 24(2), 176.

Tickle-Degnen, L. (2013). Nuts and bolts of conducting feasibility studies. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67, 171-176.

Tickle-Degnen, L., Ellis, T., Saint-Hilaire, M. H., Thomas, C. A., & Wagenaar, R. C. (2010). Self-management rehabilitation and health-related quality of life in Parkinson's disease: A randomized controlled trial. Movement Disorders, 25(2), 194-204.

Previous Article Christine Helfrich, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Next Article Margo Holm, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, ABDA