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Stacy L. Fritz, PhD, PT
Associate Professor
Program Director, Physical Therapy Program
Director, Rehabilitation Laboratory
Division of Motor Control & Rehabilitation

University of South Carolina
Department of Exercise Science
Blatt Physical Education Building, 101H
Dept. of Exercise Science

Phone: (803) 777-6887
Fax: (803) 777-0558
E-mail: sfritz@mailbox.sc.edu

Curriculum Vitae


1997, BS; University of Kentucky

1997, MS in Physical Therapy; University of Kentucky

2004, PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences; University of Florida

After receiving my Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Kentucky, I began a career as a physical therapist. At the outset, I worked as a traveling therapist in a variety of settings including acute care, rehabilitation, outpatient and home care. Through these diverse experiences I became acutely aware of the need for research to support our physical therapy interventions. It was these questions that led me to the University of Florida where I pursued a doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Science. Now at the University of South Carolina, I have focused my earlier interests into research on intensive interventions for individuals with chronic neurological disorders. My goals as an educator are to instill in my students a link between the clinical and research world, emphasizing the need for scientifically-based treatment and evaluation techniques. I try to continue to equip my students with both the hands-on knowledge they will need as PTs, but also the theoretical background to make appropriate clinical decisions.

2012 James A. Keith Excellence in Teaching Award, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina


Please see the RehabLab webpage for details regarding my research interests.

My primary research interests are:

  • Rehabilitation for individuals with chronic neurological insult
    • Rehabilitation has traditionally focused on the acute stages following a neurological insult; and to date, there has been only limited effort directed toward improving the chronic disability remaining after patients are discharged from conventional therapy. Recent studies, including my own work, have demonstrated that an individual with chronic impairments and disability may also exhibit improvements with selective intervention.
    • Exercise for those chronic disability
    • Walking speed as a vital sign of function

PHYT 788- Evidence Based Practice

PHYT 753- Research Proposal Development

PHYT 785- Seminar in Physical Therapy


Peters DM*, Middleton A*, Donley JW, Blanck EL, Fritz SL. Concurrent Validity of Walking Speed Values Calculated via the GAITRite electronic walkway and 3 Meter Walk Test in the Chronic Stroke Population. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. In press, August 2013.

Middleton A*, Fritz SL. Assessment of Gait, Balance, and Mobility in Older Adults: Considerations for Clinicians. Current Translational Geriatrics and Experimental Gerontology Reports. In press, July 2013.

Sandler RD*, Sui X, Church TS, Fritz SL, Beattie PF, Blair SN. Are flexibility and muscle-strengthening activities associated with a higher risk of developing low back pain? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Accepted 7-2013

Peters DM*, McPherson A*, Fletcher B*, McClenaghan B, Fritz SL. Counting Repetitions: An Observational Study of Video Game Play for People with Chronic Hemiparesis Post-Stroke. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, 2013, 37 (105-111).

Fritz SL, Peters DM*, Merlo AM*, Donley J. Active Video Gaming Effects on Balance and Mobility in Individuals with Chronic Stroke: A Randomized Control Trial. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation. 2013, 20(3):218-225.

Merlo AM*, Goodman A, McClenaghan B, Fritz SL. Participants' perspectives on the feasibility of a novel, intensive, task-specific intervention for individuals with chronic stroke: a qualitative analysis. Physical Therapy Journal. 2013,93(2):147-57

Peters DM*, Fritz SL, Krotish D. Assessing the Reliability and Validity of a Shorter Walk Test Compared to the 10 Meter Walk Test for Measurements of Gait Speed in Healthy, Older Adults. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. 2013, 36(1):24-30.

Fritz SL, Peters DM*, Greene JV*. Measuring Walking Speed: Clinical Feasibility and Reliability. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. 2012; 28 (2): 91-96.

Fritz SL, Butts RJ*, Wolf SL. Constraint Induced Movement Therapy: From History to Plasticity. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. 2012, 12(2): 19-8.

deBode S, Fritz SL, Mathern G. Cerebral hemispherectomy: Sensory scores before and after Intensive Mobility Training. Brain & Development. 2012 Sep;34(8):625-31

Fritz SL, Rivers ED*, Merlo AM*, Reed AD*, Mathern GW, de Bode S. Intensive Mobility Training Post Cerebral Hemispherectomy: Early Surgery Shows Best Functional Improvements. European Journal of Physical Rehabilitation Medicine. 2011; 47 (4): 569-77.

Fritz SL, Merlo AM*, Rivers ED*, Peters DM*, Goodman A, Watson ET*, Carmichael BM*, McClenaghan BA. An Intensive Intervention for Improving Gait, Balance, and Mobility in Individuals with Chronic Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: A Pilot Study of Activity Tolerance and Benefits. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2011, 92 (11): 1776-84.

Massie CL*, Fritz SL, Malcolm MP. Elbow Extension Predicts Motor Impairment and Performance Post-Stroke. Rehabilitation Research and Practice. Volume 2011. Article ID 38178. 2011

Fritz SL, Merlo AM*, Rivers ED*, Brandenburg B*, Sweet J*, Donley J, Mathews H, de Bode S, McClenaghan BA. Feasibility of Intensive Mobility Training as an Intervention for Improving Gait, Balance, and Mobility in Persons with Chronic Neurological Conditions: A Case Series. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. 2011, 35(3):141-147

McCarty D*, McClenaghan B, Blanck E, Fritz SL. Examining Dance Therapy as an Adjunct Therapy for Selected Measures of Postural Stability, Gait, and Sensory Processing for Children with Mild to Moderate Cerebral Palsy. Journal of Student Physical Therapy Research. 2010, 3 (1)1-13.

Goodman, A*, Mensch JM, Jay M, French KE, Mitchell M, Fritz SL. Retention and attrition factors of female certified athletic trainers in the NCAA Division-I FBS setting. Journal of Athletic Training. 2010, 45(3) 287-98.

Fritz SL, Blanton S, Uswatte G, Taub E, Wolf S. Minimal Detectable Change Scores for the Wolf Motor Function Test. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 2009, 23(7)662-7.

Fritz SL & Lusardi M. White Paper: Walking Speed: the Sixth Vital Sign. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. 2009, 32 (2):2-5.

deBode S, Fritz SL, Weir-Haynes K*, Mathern G. Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy for Children after Cerebral Hemispherectomy- Functional and Imaging Results: a Case Series. Phys Ther. 2009, 89(4):361-9.

Thigpen MT, Cauraugh J, Creel G, Day K, Flynn S, Fritz S, Frost S, Respess R, Gardner-Smith P, Brack M, Behrman A. Adaptation of postural responses during different standing perturbation conditions in individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury. Gait Posture 2009;29(1):113-8.

Pickett TC, Fritz SL, Ketterson TU, Glueckauf RL, Davis SB, Malcolm MP, & Light KE. Telehealth and Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy: An Intensive Case Study Approach. Clinical Gerontologist 2007, 31(1):5-20.

Fritz SL, Pittman AL, Robinson AC, Canniff SC, Rivers ED. An Intense Mobility Intervention for Improving Gait, Balance, and Mobility for Individuals with Chronic Stroke. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy 2007; 31(2):71-6.

Fritz SL, George SZ, Wolf SL, Light KE. Participant Perception of Recovery as Criterion to Establish Importance of Improvement for Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy Outcome Measures: Results from a Preliminary Study. Phys Ther 2007; 87:170-178.

Fritz SL, Light KE, Clifford SN, Patterson TS, Behrman AL, Davis SD. Descriptive Characteristics as Potential Predictors of Outcomes Following Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy for People after Stroke. Phys Ther. 2006;86: 825-832.

Chiu YP, Fritz SL, Light KE, Velozo CA. Use of item response analysis to investigate measurement properties and clinical validity of data for the Dynamic Gait Index. Phys Ther. 2006;86:778-787.

Fritz SL, Light KE, Patterson TS, Behrman AL, Davis SD. Active Finger Extension Predicts Outcomes Following Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy for Individuals with Post-Stroke Hemiparesis. Stroke, 2005; 36:1172-1177

Fritz SL, Chiu YP, Malcolm MP, Patterson TS, Light KE. Feasibility of electromyography-triggered neuromuscular stimulation as an adjunct to constraint-induced movement therapy. Phys Ther. 2005; 85:428-442

Kornetti D, Fritz SL, Chiu Y-P, Light KE, Velozo C. Rating Scale Analysis of the Berg Balance Test. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004; 85:1128-35.

*student authors