Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Occupational Therapy

Mulcahey, Mary Jane (MJ)

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Mary Jane "MJ" Mulcahey, PhD, OTR/L

Contact Dr. Mulcahey

901 Walnut Street
Suite 642
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-2888
(215) 503-2950 fax


PhD, Capella University, Minneapolis, MN
MS, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
BS, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Gwynedd Valley, PA

Board Certification

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
Licensed Occupational Therapist, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida

University Appointment


Professional Societies

President, American Spinal Injury Association May 2015 – May 2017
Vice President, Pediatric Spine Foundation 2014 -2016
Reviewer for NIDRR Systematic Review on Transition of Young Persons with
   Spinal Cord Dysfunction 2013 -2015
Co-Chair, NINDS Spinal Cord Common Data Element, Pediatric Work Group 2014 - 2015
Associate Editor: Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (1998 – Present)
American Occupational Therapy Association
American Spinal Injury Association
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
International Spinal Cord Society

Research & Clinical Interests

My professional mission is to promote the desires and aspirations of people with chronic conditions and social disadvantages so that they have healthy and meaningful relationships with others and are self-directed and meaningfully engaged in their chosen pursuits. In support of this mission, my clinical passion involves working with persons with spinal cord injuries and their families. I have participated in clinical trials of recovery and rehabilitative technologies. My research focuses on developing and validating sensitive and relevant outcomes instruments of impairment, activity and participation. With these instruments I hope that we can develop trajectories to better understand the similarities and disparities of participation in children with health conditions compared to peers without health conditions. Having knowledge on similarities and disparities will catalyze work involving the development of occupationally based methods to enhance participation.

Pediatric Modifications to the International SCI Data Sets. Rick Hansen Foundation (2015-2017), Principal Investigator, $75,000.

Pediatric Multi-Center Evaluation of notable SCI Outcomes Instruments. Craig H. Neilsen Foundation (2014-2016), Principal Investigator, $ 600,000.

Linking Pediatric Computer Adaptive Tests with Adult Computer Adaptive Tests. Shiners Hospital for Children (2014-2016), Principal Investigator, $ 350,398.

Development and Validation of Diffusion Tensor Imaging for Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury, 1 R01 NS079635-01A1, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy Study Section (ANIE) (2013-2018), Principal Investigator, $1,929,382.

Neuromuscular recovery scale for pediatric spinal cord injury. Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, 2013-2014, Sub-investigator, $150,000.


Most Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Examination of psychometric properties of PROMIS®: Pediatric upper limb measures in youth with cerebral palsy
  2. Activity-based rehabilitation interventions of the neurologically impaired upper extremity: Description of a scoping review protocol
  3. Evaluation of the capabilities of upper extremity test (CUE-T) in children with tetraplegia
  4. Considerations and recommendations for selection and utilization of upper extremity clinical outcome assessments in human spinal cord injury trials
  5. Identification of ghost artifact using texture analysis in pediatric spinal cord diffusion tensor images
  6. Despite limitations in content range, the SCIM-III is reproducible and a valid indicator of physical function in youths with spinal cord injury and dysfunction
  7. Evaluation of the graded redefined assessment of strength, sensibility and prehension (GRASSP) in children with tetraplegia
  8. Reduced Field of View Diffusion Tensor Imaging and Fiber Tractography of the Pediatric Cervical and Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury
  9. Application of Color Transformation Techniques in Pediatric Spinal Cord MR Images: Typically Developing and Spinal Cord Injury Population
  10. Age related diffusion and tractography changes in typically developing pediatric cervical and thoracic spinal cord
  11. Relevance of the international spinal cord injury basic data sets to youth: An Inter-Professional review with recommendations
  12. International spinal cord injury bowel function basic data set (Version 2.0)
  13. Evaluation of the Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury II (WISCI-II) in children with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
  14. Recommendations for the National Institute for Neurologic Disorders and Stroke spinal cord injury common data elements for children and youth with SCI
  15. Reduced FOV diffusion tensor MR imaging and fiber tractography of pediatric cervical spinal cord injury
  16. Alignment of outcome instruments used in hand therapy with the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: A scoping review
  17. The Pediatric Measure of Participation (PMoP) short forms
  18. Diffusion tensor imaging of the normal cervical and thoracic pediatric spinal cord
  19. Differential item functioning in the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Pediatric Short Forms in a sample of children and adolescents with cerebral palsy
  20. Development and initial validation of the pediatric neuromuscular recovery scale