Joanne L. Parsons
Joanne L. Parsons PhD, MSc, BMR(PT)

Assistant Professor
Department of Physical Therapy

Joanne comes from a clinical background in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy. She has worked with many sports teams and at events as a therapist, including the Maccabi Games in Israel. Her PhD, completed at the University of Manitoba and funded by a CIHR Doctoral Research Award, focused on risk factors and prevention of anterior cruciate ligament injury in young female athletes. Her current work looks at the use of resistance training activities to maximize health and performance, as well as decrease injury risk, across diverse populations. Investigating the influence sex and gender have on an individual’s choice to pursue resistance training activities, and the resulting consequences, is an emerging area of interest.

Teaching in the MPT Program

  • PT 6230 Applied Sciences for Physical Therapy 2 – Course coordinator and instructor
  • PT 7410 Exercise Prescription and Manual Therapy for Physical Therapists – Course coordinator and instructor
  • PT 6124 Physical Therapy and Hospital Based Care – assists with labs and clinical skills assessments
  • PT6130 Applied Sciences 1 - assists with labs and clinical skills assessments
  • PT6221 Clinical Skills for Physical Therapy in Neuromusculoskeletal Conditions 1 - assist with labs and clinical skills assessments
  • PT6224 Clinical Skills for Physical Therapy in Neuromusculoskeletal Conditions 2 – assist with labs and clinical skills assessments
  • PT7500 Physical Therapy Evaluation/Research Project – Supervise students in research placements

Research Projects / Focus Areas

  • Effect of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program on Performance & Movement Control in Young Female Soccer Athletes

    Girls are 3-6 times more likely to rupture the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee. As a result, numerous injury prevention programs have been developed, including the soccer-specific FIFA 11+ program. The purpose of this study was to assess 1) how young female athletes tolerate and enjoy the FIFA 11+ program and 2) assess whether doing the 11+ program for the indoor season improves movement control, and performance on a variety of fitness tests. Soccer teams were randomized to participate in the 11+ program, or to continue using a coach-determined warm-up before every practice and game. Before and after the indoor soccer season, athletes were tested on their movement control during a jump landing, as well as their performance on jumping, balancing, agility, and core endurance tests.
  • The Influence of a Female Strength Coach on Exercise Patterns of Female High School Graduates

    Girls participate in less physical activity through their teen years compared to boys, and are especially missing from the weight room. Resistance training improves muscular fitness, which in turn is associated with better physical and mental health. This research study was conducted to study the influence of a school-based female strength and conditioning coach on the physical activity and exercise choices of female high school graduates. Participants completed questionnaires, and attended a focus group to discuss their perspectives and experiences with the school strength coach, as well as explore the coach’s influence on the girls’ use of the school weight room, and their choice of exercise and physical activities after graduation.

Current Research Interests

  • Sports injury prevention programs, including barriers and facilitators to use
  • Factors which contribute to neuromuscular asymmetry in university athletes
  • Use of the school weight-room to encourage participation in resistance training activities among youth
  • Inclusive resistance training programming for marginalized populations
  • Influence of sex and gender on sport injury risk
  • Physical and emotional health of students in healthcare professions

Teaching Fields

  • Exercise assessment and prescription for healthy populations
  • General physical therapy assessment and treatment techniques
  • Orthopedic pathology and clinical manifestations

Selected Publications

Parsons JL, Nwoba IM, Stenberg H, Carswell J. Athlete perceptions and physical performance effects of the FIFA 11+ program in 9-11 year old female soccer players: a cluster randomized trial. IJSPT. 2019.
Parsons JL, Cayer M, Hoeppner M, Titterton A, Willsie J, McDonald L, Webber SC. Functional fitness for dental hygiene students: does it make them Fit to Sit? CJDH. 2019.
Parsons JL, Duna K, Webber SC. Girls in the school weight room: Effect on health-related physical fitness and physical self-perception. Physical Education Matters. 2019; June.
Parsons JL, Sylvester R, Porter MM. The effect of strength training on the jump landing biomechanics of young female athletes: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Clin J Sport Med. 2017

Links to research articles:

Reliability of measuring hip and knee power and movement velocity in active youth

Modifying spike jump landing biomechanics in female adolescent volleyball athletes using video and verbal feedback

The effect of strength training on the jump-landing biomechanics of young female athletes: Results of a randomized controlled trial