Sean Collins, PT, ScD



Research Gate

Google Scholar

Dr. Collins joined Plymouth State University in June 2015 as the founding Program Director to develop and implement the DPT program. He was previously on faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (1998 – 2015), having served as Chair of the PT Department (2008 – 2013) and Program Director of the DPT program (2008 – 2012).

His clinical experience focused on general and cardiopulmonary physical therapy. His dissertation on “Job Strain and its Electrocardiographically Assessed Pathophysiological Correlates” in 2003 required computational modeling as well as bio-statistical analysis and led to several publications, national and international presentations and speaking opportunities. The multi-scale approach to data integration and analysis developed during this dissertation in the consideration of exposure, human health, performance and disease continues to influence Dr. Collins’ teaching and scholarship.

Dr. Collins has over 50 publications and presentations in peer-reviewed journals; has presented at local, national, and international conferences and is the author of a Cardiac System chapter in the Acute Care Handbook for Physical Therapists, edited by Jaime Paz and Michelle Panik; and a chapter on Cardiopulmonary Anatomy for Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, a text edited by William DeTurk and Lawrence Cahalin. He serves as Editor for the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal, and is a peer reviewer for the journals: Hypertension; Safety and Health at Work; Computers in Biology and Medicine; and Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Dr. Collins is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, including the Cardiovascular & Pulmonary; Education; and Orthopedic  Sections; the Philosophy of Science Association, American Physiological Society, Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Chartered Institute for Ergonomics & Human Factors (UK).

Dr. Collins’ scholarly interests include clinical epistemology and reasoning, particularly the dynamic use of three modes of inference in practice (inductive, deductive and abductive). This interest includes reasoning about the causal structure of knowledge that underlies practice, particularly the hierarchy of adaptation and how adaptive levels interact, influence each other and inform action based on our belief’s regarding causation and possible worlds. This primary interest provides Dr. Collins with the flexibility to engage and collaborate with physical therapists across the full range of practice specialties and settings.

Current research focuses on exposure modeling to improve function and performance with training and rehabilitation from an ergonomic systems perspective – meaning, without separation of physiology and behavior; we cannot separate the physical from the mental when it comes to function & performance.

Selected Peer Reviewed Publication (from >50)

Collins SM. Dias K. Heart Failure: Stability, Decompensation and Readmission. Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal. 2016; 26: 58-72.

Collins SM. Dynamic Inference in Cardiopulmonary PT Practice Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal. 2015; 25(4), p118-119.

Medina-Mirapeix F, DelBano-Aledo ME , Escolar-Reina P, Montilla-Herrador J, Collins SM. Relevant patient perceptions and experiences for evaluating quality of interaction with physiotherapists during outpatient rehabilitation: a qualitative study. 2015; Physiotherapy, 100(2014)73-79

Medina-Mirapeix F, Navarro EN, Escolar-Reina P, Montilla-Herrador J, Valera-Garrido F, Collins SM. Mobility activities measurement for outpatient rehabilitation settings. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 92(4): 632-639 doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2010.11.025 .

Collins SM, Karasek R. Reduced Vagal Cardiac Control Variance in Exhausted and High Strain Job Subjects. International Journal of Occupational Medicine & Environmental Health, 2010; 23(3):1–15; DOI 10.2478/v10001-010-0029-0

Collins SM. Occupational Factors, Fatigue and Cardiovascular Disease. Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal. 2009, 20(2):28-31.