For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Margaret Finley, PT, PhD

Contact Information

Margaret Finley


Associate Professor

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department

Margaret Finley, PT, PhD, is an associate professor in Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. She earned a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD. Finley’s research has been supported by a VA Rehabilitation Research Service through a predoctoral fellowship, postdoctoral training (Associate Investigator) and subsequent mentored Career Development Award, as the principal investigator on a multi-site Department of Defense-funded study and currently by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health SCI Research Program. Finley teaches courses in both the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences programs. Her research uses a mixed method approach to examine the interaction of biological and psychosocial factors in the development and progression of secondary condition and the impact of activity and participation in individuals with mobility impairments.

Academic Distinctions

She is a standing member of the NIH Center for Scientific Review, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Function, Integration and Rehabilitation Sciences (FIRS) Subcommittee.

Professional Society

Finley is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (Research, Orthopedics and Neurological section member), American College of Rehabilitation Medicine, American Spinal Injury Association, and the American Society of Biomechanics.

Selected Publications

Baehr, L., Kaimal, G, Bruneau, M, Finley, MA. Feasibility of a synchronous group tele-exercise class for individuals with spinal cord injury: A mixed methods study, Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy.

Baehr, L., Fisher, K., Finley, M. (2022) Perspectives on health with spinal cord injury now and in the future: a qualitative descriptive study. Physical Therapy, pzad011, doi:10.1093/ptj/pzad011

Baehr LA, Kaimal G, Hiremath SV, Trost Z, Finley M (2022) Staying active after rehab: Physical activity perspectives with a spinal cord injury beyond functional gains. PLOS ONE 17(3): e0265807. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0265807.

Finley, M., Euiler, E., Trojian, T., Gracely, E., Schmidt-Read, M., Frye, S. K., Kallins, M., Summers, A., York, H. Geigle, P. R. (2020). Clinical characteristics of individuals with newly acquired spinal cord injury compared to uninjured peers. Spinal Cord Ser Cases 6, 68.

Finley, M., Euiler, E., Gracely, E., Baehr, L., Brownsberger, M. Schmidt-Read, M., Frye, SK., Kallins, M., Summers, A., York, H. Geigle, PR. (2021) Relationship of psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal pain among individuals with newly acquired spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord Series and Cases ,7(1), 62. doi: 10.1038/s41394-021-00415-4.

Grant participation:

PA Dept of Health SCI Research Program - “Tele-exercise for Individuals with SCI: Physical, Psychological and Social Determinants” Role: PI

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Psychosocial Research Program (CNHF 865512) - “Integrated tele-exercise for individuals with SCI: psychological and social responses” Role: PI

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs- Spinal Cord Injury Research Program Investigator Initiated Research Award (DoD SCIRP W81XWH-17-1-0476) “Development of a Biopsychosocial Prospective Surveillance Model of Shoulder Pain in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury” Role: PI

Cell2Society Aging Research Network Graduate Student Pilot Funding (PI: Baehr, L) “Looking to the Future: Exploring Aging with Spinal Cord Injury” Role: Co-Investigator

College of Nursing and Health Professions Implementation Science Accelerator Grant “Engagement of stakeholder and community partners in a health and wellness program during community reintegration following Spinal Cord injury” Role: Principal Investigator

Research Interests

Finley's research interest is the identification of secondary conditions in persons with chronic health conditions, impairments, activity and participation limitations. Her primary focus is individuals with spinal cord injury, investigating accessible, inclusive physical activity interventions to mitigate biopsychosocial secondary conditions, promoting activity and participation. Her research has strongly relied on analyses of human dynamics through clinical and biomechanical methods, impairment assessment and translating scientific innovation into clinical practice

View Research Profile

PhD, Physical Rehabilitation Science (Cognate: Biomechanics), 2003
University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland

Master of Arts, Biomechanics, 1993
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Bachelor of Science - Physical Therapy, With Honors, 1987
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Bachelor of Science – Kinesiological Science, Summa Cum Laude, 1985
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland