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 514 343-2084
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

  • Targeting peripheral and central mechanisms of the nervous system to improve function and social participation of people with musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Determining the usefulness of the motor evoked potential to guide the application of transcranial direct current stimulation for persons in the chronic phase after stroke.
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation: a novel approach for the treatment attention deficits in persons with TBI.
  • Development of a quality of life measurement among at-risk children using a contemporary approach (Item Response Theory)

Selected publications

  • Higgins, J., Laramée, M. T., Harrison, K. R., Delparte, J. J., Scovil, C. Y., Flett, H. M., & Burns, A. S. (2019). The Spinal Cord Injury Pressure Ulcer Scale (SCIPUS): an assessment of validity using Rasch analysis. Spinal Cord, 57(10), 874-880. doi:10.1038/s41393-019-0287-z
  • da Silva, R. L., Santos, F. F., Mendes, I. M. G., Caromano, F. A., Higgins, J., & Frak, V. (2019). Contributions of the left and the right hemispheres on language-induced grip force modulation of the left hand in unimanual tasks. Medicina, 55(10), 674.
  • Pelletier, R., Paquette, E., Bourbonnais, D., Higgins, J., Harris, P. G., & Danino, M. A. (2019). Bilateral sensory and motor as well as cognitive differences between persons with and without musculoskeletal disorders of the wrist and hand. Musculoskeletal Science & Practice, 44, 102058. doi:10.1016/j.msksp.2019.102058
  • Pelletier, R., Bourbonnais, D., Higgins, J., Mireault, M., Danino, M. A., & Harris, P. G. (2018). Left Right Judgement Task and Sensory, Motor, and Cognitive Assessment in Participants with Wrist/Hand Pain. Rehabilitation Research and Practice, 2018, 13. doi:10.1155/2018/1530245
  • da Silva, R. L., de Souza, A. M. C., Santos, F. F., Inoue, S. T., Higgins, J., & Frak, V. (2018). Effects of Excitatory Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the P3 Point in Chronic Stroke Patients-Case Reports. Brain Sciences, 8(5). doi:10.3390/brainsci8050078
  • Pelletier, R., Bourbonnais, D., & Higgins, J. (2017). Nociception, pain, neuroplasticity and the practice of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. doi:10.1016/j.ijosm.2017.08.001
  • Fan, J., Voisin, J., Milot, M. H., Higgins, J., & Boudrias, M. H. (2017). Transcranial direct current stimulation over multiple days enhances motor performance of a grip task. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 60(5), 329-333. doi:10.1016/

Research interests

  • Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying recovery of the upper limb following a stroke
  • Neurophysiological mechanisms of musculoskeletal conditions and pain
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Development and validation of assessment and measurement tools using contemporary statistical methodology