Johanne Higgins, Ph.D.

Director of occupational therapy programs and Full Professor

Contact details (research)
Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) du Montréal métropolitain
Site de l’Institut universitaire sur la réadaptation en déficience physique du CIUSSS Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
6300, Darlington Ave
Montreal (Qc) H3S 2J4
T 514-340-2085, ext. 2189

Contact details (School of Rehabilitation)
T 514 343-6111 ext.14504
F 514 343-2105

Occupational Therapy

Research background (french)


  • B.Sc. Occupational Therapy, Université Laval (1995)
  • M.Sc. Rehabilitation Science, McGill University (1998)
  • Ph.D. Rehabilitation Science, McGill University (2008)
  • Postdoctorate, Department of Experimental Medicine, McGill University (2009)

Current research projects

  • Relieving chronic pain in the elderly using transcranial direct current stimulation.Targ
  • Development and use of a bimanual exerciser for the rehabilitation of hemiparetic persons.
    • Development of a quality-of-life measurement among at-risk children using a contemporary approach (Item Response Theory)

    Selected publications

    • Akremi H*, Higgins J, Nadeau S, Guediri A, Aissaoui R. Seated postural organization during bilateral upper limb symmetric and asymmetric pushing tasks in individuals after stroke compared to healthy controls. Journal of Gait and Posture. Accepté juin 2023.
    • Proulx C*, Higgins J, Vincent C, Hewko M, Vaughan T, Gagnon D, Dany User-centered development process of an operating interface to couple a robotic glove with a virtual environment to optimize hand rehabilitation following a stroke. J Rehabil Assist Technol Eng. Apr. 2023.
    • Hernandez A, Bubyr L, Archambault P, Higgins J, Levin MF, Kairy D. VR-based rehabilitation as a Feasible and Engaging Tool for the Management of Chronic Post-Stroke Upper Extremity Function Recovery: A Randomized Controlled Trial. 27;10(3):e37506. doi: 10.2196/37506. 2022. PMID: 36166289; PMCID: PMC9555337.
    • Allègue DR*, Higgins J, Sweet SN,Archambault PS, Michaud F, Miller W, Tousignant M, Kairy D. Lessons learned from clinicians and stroke survivors about using telerehabilitation combined with exergames: A multiple case study. JMIR Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies.  15;9(3):e31305. doi: 10.2196/31305. PMID: 36107484.
    • Allègue DR*, Higgins J, Sweet SN,Archambault PS, Michaud F, Miller W, Tousignant M, Kairy D. Rehabilitation of upper extremity by telerehabilitation combined with exergames in chronic stroke survivors: Preliminary findings from a feasibility clinical trial. JMIR Rehabil Assist Technol. 2022 Jun 22;9(2):e33745.
    • Auger L-P, Masse J, Higgins J. Sexuality in Occupational Therapy: A Call to Action. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2022;85(9):627-628. doi:10.1177/03080226221107769
    • Proulx CE*, Louis Jean MT, Higgins J, Gagnon DH, Dancause N. Somesthetic, Visual, and Auditory Feedback and Their Interaction Applied to Upper Limb Neurorehabilitation Technology: A Narrative Review to Facilitate Contextualization of Knowledge. Frontier in rehabilitation science.
    • Akremi H*, Higgins J, Aissaoui R, Nadeau S. Bilateral motor coordination during upper limb symmetric pushing movements at two levels of force resistance in healthy and post-stroke individuals. Hum Mov Sci. 2022 Feb;81:102913. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2021.102913. FI: 2.15. Epub 2021 Dec 21. PMID: 34952321.
    • Colucci E, Nadeau S, Higgins J, Kehayia E, Poldma T, Saj A, de Guise E. COVID-19 lockdowns’ effects on the quality of life, perceived health and well-being of healthy elderly individuals: A longitudinal comparison of pre-lockdown and lockdown states of well-being. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. Volume 99, 2022.

    Research interests

    • Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying recovery of the upper limb following a stroke
    • Neurophysiological mechanisms of musculoskeletal conditions and pain
    • Non-invasive Brain Stimulation
    • Development and validation of assessment and measurement tools using contemporary statistical methodology