Kathryn R. Zalewski, PT, MPA, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Program Director, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

[Image] Kathryn Zalewski

Pavilion, Room 360
Phone: (414) 229-3367
Fax: (414) 229-3360




  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Motor Learning
  • M.S., University of San Francisco, Public Administration/Health Services Administration
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Physical Therapy

Speaker Topics

  • Stroke Outcomes
  • Physical Therapy Practice Environment
  • Health Literacy in Physical Therapy Practice
  • Evidence Based Physical Therapy

Interests & Expertise

Dr. Kathryn Zalewski’s research focuses on improving outcomes for people in various stages of recovery from cerebrovascular accident (CVA or stroke) with emphasis on exploring the relationship to formalized inpatient rehabilitation and post-rehabilitation outcomes. Dr. Zalewski’s work is primarily field based research utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the complexities of rehabilitation in a changing and increasingly complex health care environment. Research questions in the Adult Neuromotor Rehabilitation Laboratory, run by Dr. Zalewski, explore interventions designed to improve quality of life for stroke survivors and their families and the role physical therapists play in health promotion and improved health literacy for the people in their care.

Recent Publications

Select Recent Publications

Zalewski, K. R., & Alt, C. (in review). Differential diagnosis of activity barriers in outpatient physical therapy. Physical Therapy.

Gennusco, K., Zalewski, K. R., Cashin, S., Strath, S. (in review). Resistance training guidelines improve function in older adults: A pilot study. Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

Duffy, S., & Zalewski, K. (accepted for presentation). Physical activity intensity of inpatient stroke rehabilitation is related to functional outcome. American Physical Therapy Association, Combined Sections Meeting, 2012.

Hornung, N., Blackman, S., Zalewski, K. (2011). Changes in impairment and functional measures during rehabilitation following unilateral vestibular loss: Investigation of the Gaze Stabilization Test. Wisconsin Physical Therapy Conference, Madison, WI.

Weber, D., Rice, C., Zalewski, K. R., & Ghorai, J. (2011). Development lead exposure causes startle response deficits in zebrafish. Aquatic Toxicology, 105, 600-608.

Zalewski, K. R., & Dvorak, L. M. (2011). Barriers to physical activity for adults with stroke and their care partners. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 18, Suppl. 1, 666-675.

Zalewski, K. R., Kerk, J., Laundre, K., Wacek, A., & Wiedmeyer, M. (2010). A case report exploring activity intensity in inpatient rehabilitation after stroke. Case Reports in Medicine. doi:10.1155/2010/507476.

Smith, J. C., Zalewski, K. R., Motl, R., VanHart, M., & Malzahn, J. (2010). The contributions of self-efficacy, trait anxiety, and fear of falling to physical activity behavior among residents of continuing care retirement communities. Journal of Ageing Research, 2(1), e3. doi:10.4081/ar.2010.e3.

Zalewski, K., Rud, A., & Johnson, S. (2009). Developing Reimbursement Priorities: Results of the 2008 Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association Reimbursement Survey. Combined Sections meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, February 2009, Las Vegas, NV.

Zalewski, K., Kavalar, R., Rud, A., & Johnson, S. (2009). Differences in autonomous practice values and the practice environment for physical therapists. Presented at the 1st annual International Conference on Direct Access and Scope of Practice in Physical Therapy.

Zalewski, K. R., Smith, J. C., Malzahn, J., VanHart, M., & O’Connell, D. (2009). Measures of physical ability are unrelated to objectively measured physical activity behavior in older adults residing in continuing care retirement communities. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90(6), 982-986.

Zalewski, K. R. (2007). Exploring barriers to remaining physically active: A case report of a person with Multiple Sclerosis. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, 31(1), 40-45.

Honors & Awards

  • Dean's Award for Outstanding Service, College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2011