Stacey Dusing, PhD, PT, FAPTA

Associate Professor of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Stacey Dusing, Ph.D., PT, FAPTA is a board certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy. Her primary research focus is on the early detection and treatment of developmental disabilities.  Dr. Dusing collaborates with other CHLA researchers in the Best Starts to Life program, Neonatology, and Developmental Pediatrics.


Graduate School

MS - Human Movement Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

PhD - Human Movement Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC


Comprehensive Opportunities in Rehabilitation Research Training (CORRT) Faculty Scholar NIH/ K12 HD055931 Career Development Award. 2008-2010 at the University of Delaware, 2010-2011 at Virginia Commonwealth University

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Related Disabilities (LEND).  Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Fellow



Hammersmith Infant Neurological Exam (HINE) trainer certification, CP Foundation 2020

Prechtl General Movement Assessment, Basic Competency, GM Trust 2016

Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) Wake Medical Center, Raleigh, NC.  August 2002

Newborn Brazelton Assessment: Wake Medical Center, Raleigh NC, August 2001

Medical Awards

Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (FAPTA), 2020

Knowledge Translation Lectureship Award, Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, APTA. Awarded to a clinician researcher team (Sharon Brown/Stacey Dusing) 2019

Stephen Haley Research Award, Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, APTA Highest research award in pediatric physical therapy 2017



Khurana S, Evans ME, Kelly CE, Thompson DK, Burnsed JC, Harper AD, Hendricks-Muñoz KD, Shall MS, Stevenson RD, Inamdar K, Vorona G, Dusing SC. Longitudinal Changes in the Sensorimotor Pathways of Very Preterm Infants During the First Year of Life With and Without Intervention: A Pilot Study. Dev Neurorehabil. 2021 Oct;24(7):448-455. doi: 10.1080/17518423.2021.1903602. Epub 2021 Jun 23. PubMed PMID: 34160340; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8429051.

Morgan C, Fetters L, Adde L, Badawi N, Bancale A, Boyd RN, Chorna O, Cioni G, Damiano DL, Darrah J, de Vries LS, Dusing S, Einspieler C, Eliasson AC, Ferriero D, Fehlings D, Forssberg H, Gordon AM, Greaves S, Guzzetta A, Hadders-Algra M, Harbourne R, Karlsson P, Krumlinde-Sundholm L, Latal B, Loughran-Fowlds A, Mak C, Maitre N, McIntyre S, Mei C, Morgan A, Kakooza-Mwesige A, Romeo DM, Sanchez K, Spittle A, Shepherd R, Thornton M, Valentine J, Ward R, Whittingham K, Zamany A, Novak I. Early Intervention for Children Aged 0 to 2 Years With or at High Risk of Cerebral Palsy: International Clinical Practice Guideline Based on Systematic Reviews. JAMA Pediatr. 2021 Aug 1;175(8):846-858. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0878. PubMed PMID: 33999106.

Inamdar K, Molinini RM, Panibatla ST, Chow JC, Dusing SC. Physical therapy interventions to improve sitting ability in children with or at-risk for cerebral palsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2021 Apr;63(4):396-406. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14772. Epub 2020 Dec 14. PubMed PMID: 33319378.

Stuyvenberg CL, Brown SE, Inamdar K, Evans M, Hsu LY, Rolin O, Harbourne RT, Westcott McCoy S, Lobo MA, Koziol NA, Dusing SC. Targeted Physical Therapy Combined with Spasticity Management Changes Motor Development Trajectory for a 2-Year-Old with Cerebral Palsy. J Pers Med.2021 Feb 27;11(3). doi: 10.3390/jpm11030163. PubMed PMID: 33673573; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7997196.

Harbourne RT, Dusing SC, Lobo MA, McCoy SW, Koziol NA, Hsu LY, Willett S, Marcinowski EC, Babik I, Cunha AB, An M, Chang HJ, Bovaird JA, Sheridan SM. START-Play Physical Therapy Intervention Impacts Motor and Cognitive Outcomes in Infants With Neuromotor Disorders: A Multisite Randomized Clinical Trial. Phys Ther. 2021 Feb 4;101(2). doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzaa232. PubMed PMID: 33382406; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7910024.

Molinini RM, Koziol NA, Tripathi T, Harbourne RT, McCoy SW, Lobo MA, Bovaird J, Dusing SC. Measuring Early Problem-Solving in Young Children with Motor Delays: A Validation Study. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2021;41(4):390-409. doi: 10.1080/01942638.2020.1865501. Epub 2021 Feb 1. PubMed PMID: 33517815.

Cunha AB, Babik I, Koziol NA, Hsu LY, Nord J, Harbourne RT, Westcott-McCoy S, Dusing SC, Bovaird JA, Lobo MA. A Novel Means-End Problem-Solving Assessment Tool for Early Intervention: Evaluation of Validity, Reliability, and Sensitivity. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2021 Jan 1;33(1):2-9. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000761. PubMed PMID: 33337765.

Rosales MR, Rohloff P, Vanderbilt DL, Tripathi T, Valentini NC, Dusing S, Smith BA. Collecting Infant Environmental and Experiential Data Using Smartphone Surveys. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2021 Jan 1;33(1):47-49. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000766. PubMed PMID: 33337776.

An M, Nord J, Koziol NA, Dusing SC, Kane AE, Lobo MA, Mccoy SW, Harbourne RT. Developing a fidelity measure of early intervention programs for children with neuromotor disorders. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2021 Jan;63(1):97-103. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14702. Epub 2020 Oct 13. PubMed PMID: 33051867.

Finlayson F, Olsen J, Dusing SC, Guzzetta A, Eeles A, Spittle A. Supporting Play, Exploration, and Early Development Intervention (SPEEDI) for preterm infants: A feasibility randomised controlled trial in an Australian context. Early Hum Dev. 2020 Dec;151:105172. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2020.105172. Epub 2020 Sep 1. PubMed PMID: 33137579.

Rocha NACF, Dos Santos Silva FP, Dos Santos MM, Dusing SC. Impact of mother-infant interaction on development during the first year of life: A systematic review. J Child Health Care. 2020 Sep;24(3):365-385. doi: 10.1177/1367493519864742. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PubMed PMID: 31337225.

Dusing SC, Burnsed JC, Brown SE, Harper AD, Hendricks-Munoz KD, Stevenson RD, Thacker LR, Molinini RM. Efficacy of Supporting Play Exploration and Early Development Intervention in the First Months of Life for Infants Born Very Preterm: 3-Arm Randomized Clinical Trial Protocol. Phys Ther. 2020 Aug 12;100(8):1343-1352. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzaa077. PubMed PMID: 32329778; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7439229.

Khurana S, Kane AE, Brown SE, Tarver T, Dusing SC. Effect of neonatal therapy on the motor, cognitive, and behavioral development of infants born preterm: a systematic review. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2020 Jun;62(6):684-692. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14485. Epub 2020 Feb 19. PubMed PMID: 32077096; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7920849.

An M, Dusing SC, Harbourne RT, Sheridan SM. What Really Works in Intervention? Using Fidelity Measures to Support Optimal Outcomes. Phys Ther. 2020 May 18;100(5):757-765. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzaa006. PubMed PMID: 31944249.

Spittle A, Dusing S. Motor Impairment. In: Encyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development [Internet] Elsevier; 2020. 364-372p. Available from:

Marcinowski EC, Tripathi T, Hsu LY, Westcott McCoy S, Dusing SC. Sitting skill and the emergence of arms-free sitting affects the frequency of object looking and exploration. Dev Psychobiol. 2019 Nov;61(7):1035-1047. doi: 10.1002/dev.21854. Epub 2019 Apr 22. PubMed PMID: 31012090.

Dusing SC, Harbourne RT, Lobo MA, Westcott-McCoy S, Bovaird JA, Kane AE, Syed G, Marcinowski EC, Koziol NA, Brown SE. A Physical Therapy Intervention to Advance Cognitive and Motor Skills: A Single Subject Study of a Young Child With Cerebral Palsy. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2019 Oct;31(4):347-352. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000635. PubMed PMID: 31568380; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8241691.

Brown SE, Dusing SC. Knowledge Translation Lecture: Providing Best Practice in Neonatal Intensive Care and Follow-up: A Clinician-Researcher Collaboration. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2019 Oct;31(4):308-314. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000634. PubMed PMID: 31568371.

Stuyvenberg C, Dusing SC. Commentary on "Relationships Among 3 Movement Analysis Tests in Preterm Infants". Pediatr Phys Ther. 2019 Jul;31(3):256. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000615. PubMed PMID: 31220008.

Dusing SC, Solano TA. Commentary on "Sitting Matters! Differences Between Sitters and Nonsitters at 6 Months' Adjusted Age in Infants At-Risk and Born Preterm". Pediatr Phys Ther. 2019 Jul;31(3):263. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000627. PubMed PMID: 31220009.

Dusing SC, Marcinowski EC, Rocha NACF, Tripathi T, Brown SE. Assessment of Parent-Child Interaction Is Important With Infants in Rehabilitation and Can Use High-Tech or Low-Tech Methods. Phys Ther. 2019 Jun 1;99(6):658-665. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzz021. PubMed PMID: 30806668.

Tripathi T, Dusing S, Pidcoe PE, Xu Y, Shall MS, Riddle DL. A Motor Learning Paradigm Combining Technology and Associative Learning to Assess Prone Motor Learning in Infants. Phys Ther. 2019 Jun 1;99(6):807-816. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzz066. PubMed PMID: 31155666.

Tripathi T, Dusing S, Pidcoe P, Xu Y, Shall M, Riddle D. A Motor Learning Paradigm Combining Technology and Associative Learning to Assess Prone Motor Learning in Infants. Physical Therapy. 2019 June; 99(6):807-816. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzz066.

Commentary on “the Relationship Among Three Different Movement Analysis Tests in Preterm Babies”. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2019.

Harbourne RT, Dusing SC, Lobo MA, Westcott-McCoy S, Bovaird J, Sheridan S, Galloway JC, Chang HJ, Hsu LY, Koziol N, Marcinowski EC, Babik I.Sitting Together And Reaching To Play (START-Play): Protocol for a Multisite Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial on Intervention for Infants With Neuromotor Disorders. Phys Ther. 2018 Jun 1;98(6):494-502. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzy033. PubMed PMID: 29767802.

Dusing SC, Tripathi T, Marcinowski EC, Thacker LR, Brown LF, Hendricks-Muñoz KD. Supporting play exploration and early developmental intervention versus usual care to enhance development outcomes during the transition from the neonatal intensive care unit to home: a pilot randomized controlled trial. BMC Pediatr. 2018 Feb 9;18(1):46. doi: 10.1186/s12887-018-1011-4. PubMed PMID: 29426320; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5809115.

Dusing SC, Brown S. Commentary on "Therapy Use for Children With Developmental Conditions: Analysis of Colorado Medicaid Data". Pediatr Phys Ther. 2017 Jul;29(3):199. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000432. PubMed PMID: 28654484.

Pavão SL, Silva FP, Dusing SC, Rocha NA. Clinical tools designed to assess motor abilities in children with cerebral palsy. Dev Neurorehabil. 2017 Apr;20(3):149-159. doi: 10.3109/17518423.2016.1150359. Epub 2016 Mar 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 27019351.

Gannotti ME, Bailes A, Bjornson K, OʼNeil M, Grant-Buettler M, Dusing S. Pediatric Rehabilitation Services for Children With Cerebral Palsy: What Can Existing Data Sources Tell Us?. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2017 Apr;29(2):179-186. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000377. PubMed PMID: 28350778.

Special Care Nursery. In: Physical Therapy for Children 2017.

The Child’s Development of Functional Movement. In: Physical Therapy for Children 2017.

Dusing SC, Thacker LR, Galloway JC. Infant born preterm have delayed development of adaptive postural control in the first 5 months of life.Infant Behav Dev. 2016 Aug;44:49-58. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2016.05.002. Epub 2016 Jun 7. PubMed PMID: 27285202; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4992657.

OʼGrady MG, Dusing SC. Assessment Position Affects Problem-Solving Behaviors in a Child With Motor Impairments. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2016 Summer;28(2):253-8. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000238. PubMed PMID: 26914718.

Dusing SC. Postural variability and sensorimotor development in infancy. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2016 Mar;58 Suppl 4:17-21. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.13045. Review. PubMed PMID: 27027603.

Christy JB, Lobo MA, Bjornson K, Dusing SC, Field-Fote E, Gannotti M, Heathcock JC, OʼNeil ME, Rimmer JH. Technology for Children With Brain Injury and Motor Disability: Executive Summary From Research Summit IV. Pediatr Phys Ther. Winter 2016;28(4):483-9. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000317. PubMed PMID: 27661249.

Tripathi T, Dusing SC. Long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants born late preterm: a systematic review. Research Reports in Neonatology. 2015 November; 5:91-111. doi: DOI

Dusing S, Tripathi T. Long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants born late preterm: a systematic review. Research and Reports in Neonatology. 2015 November; :91-. doi: 10.2147/RRN.S44062.

Dusing SC, Brown SE, Van Drew CM, Thacker LR, Hendricks-Muñoz KD. Supporting Play Exploration and Early Development Intervention From NICU to Home: A Feasibility Study. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2015 Fall;27(3):267-74. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000161. PubMed PMID: 26102168.

O'Grady MG, Dusing SC. Reliability and validity of play-based assessments of motor and cognitive skills for infants and young children: a systematic review. Phys Ther. 2015 Jan;95(1):25-38. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20140111. Epub 2014 Aug 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 25169918.

Dusing SC, Izzo T, Thacker LR, Galloway JC. Postural complexity influences development in infants born preterm with brain injury: relating perception-action theory to 3 cases. Phys Ther. 2014 Oct;94(10):1508-16. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20140023. Epub 2014 Jun 5. PubMed PMID: 24903116; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4183893.

Dusing SC, Izzo TA, Thacker LR, Galloway JC. Postural complexity differs between infant born full term and preterm during the development of early behaviors. Early Hum Dev. 2014 Mar;90(3):149-56. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2014.01.006. Epub 2014 Jan 28. PubMed PMID: 24485170; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3950939.

Phillips-Pula L, Pickler R, McGrath JM, Brown LF, Dusing SC. Caring for a preterm infant at home: a mother's perspective. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs.2013 Oct-Dec;27(4):335-44. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e3182a983be. PubMed PMID: 24164816.

Dusing SC, Izzo TA. Commentary on "Differences in function among children with sensory processing disorders, physical disabilities, and typical development". Pediatr Phys Ther. 2013 Fall;25(3):322. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31829833bf. PubMed PMID: 23797405.

Dusing SC, Lobo MA, Lee HM, Galloway JC. Intervention in the first weeks of life for infants born late preterm: a case series. Pediatr Phys Ther.2013 Summer;25(2):194-203. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3182888b86. PubMed PMID: 23542201; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3621113.

Dusing SC, Thacker LR, Stergiou N, Galloway JC. Early complexity supports development of motor behaviors in the first months of life. Dev Psychobiol. 2013 May;55(4):404-14. doi: 10.1002/dev.21045. Epub 2012 May 9. PubMed PMID: 22573386; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3496827.

Lobo MA, Harbourne RT, Dusing SC, McCoy SW. Grounding early intervention: physical therapy cannot just be about motor skills anymore. Phys Ther. 2013 Jan;93(1):94-103. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20120158. Epub 2012 Sep 20. Review. PubMed PMID: 23001524; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3538987.

Dusing SC, Van Drew CM, Brown SE. Instituting parent education practices in the neonatal intensive care unit: an administrative case report of practice evaluation and statewide action. Phys Ther. 2012 Jul;92(7):967-75. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20110360. Epub 2012 Mar 30. PubMed PMID: 22466024; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3386515.

Motor Control: Developmental Aspects of Motor Control in Skill Acquisition. In: Physical Therapy for Children 2012.

Dusing SC, Harbourne RT. Variability in postural control during infancy: implications for development, assessment, and intervention. Phys Ther.2010 Dec;90(12):1838-49. doi: 10.2522/ptj.2010033. Epub 2010 Oct 21. Review. PubMed PMID: 20966208; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2996511.

Becker E, Dusing S. Participation is possible: A case report of integration into a community performing arts program. Physiother Theory Pract.2010 May;26(4):275-80. doi: 10.3109/09593980903423137. PubMed PMID: 20397862.


Research Summary

Dr. Dusing’s research focuses on postural control, reaching, early exploration and interventions to advance development in infants with or at high risk of having developmental disabilities.   Dr. Dusing is recognized around the world as a leader in the development of evidence based neonatal rehabilitation leading to collaborations in Australia, Brazil, and Norway.  These collaborations support her mission to improving practice through innovative and evidence based care in various health care environment.

Dr. Dusing’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, The US Department of Education, AD Williams Foundation, American Physical Therapy Association, Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, and the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research.  She is currently the principal investigator of a multi-site clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and timing of intervention for infants born at less than 29 weeks of gestation.  She is also the Co-Principle Investigator of the NIH funded study of Sitting Together and Reaching to Play (START-Play) for children with Cerebral Palsy, and was the site lead for the original START-Play trial.

USC Motor Development Lab