Karen Mueller, PT, DPT, PhD

Karen Mueller Professor
Northern Arizona University
Physical Therapy, Flagstaff Campus
Phone: 928-523-7435
Fax: 928-523-9289
Personal Page


Karen Mueller, PT, DPT, PhD


Flagstaff Campus

Phone: 928-523-7435


Personal Page

Professional Interests

Dr. Mueller’s clinical and professional interests are in the areas of neurological rehabilitation, professional communication, health and wellness, and end of life care. She is the author of the text, Communication from the inside out: Strategies for the engaged professional (FA Davis, 2010) and has authored several articles pertaining to the role of physical therapy intervention in end of life care. Dr. Mueller is currently the Chair of the American Physical Therapy Association Oncology Section Hospice and Palliative Care Special Interest Group and serves on the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Rehabilitation Therapy Steering Committee. More recently, she has been conducting wellness coaching for patients with neurologic disease and exploring the neurological correlates of mindfulness.

Education and Certifications

Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Montana, 2012

Doctor of Philosophy, Health Professions Education/Health Promotion Union Institute and University, 2002

Master of Science, Physical Therapy, Northwestern University, 1987

Bachelor of Science, University of Missouri, 1979

Certified Health and Wellness Coach, American College of Sports Medicine, 2013

Teaching Areas / Courses Taught

PT 586   Clinical Communication

PT 635   Neurophysiologic Therapeutics I

PT 636   Neurophysiologic Therapeutics II

PT 678   Psychosocial Aspects of Rehabilitation

PT 687   Professional Development Seminar

Select Publications / Professional Presentations

Mueller K, Hamilton G, Rodden B, DeHeer H. Functional assessment and intervention by nursing assistants in hospice and palliative care inpatient care settings: A quality improvement pilot study. Am J Hosp and Pall Care. Published ahead of print, October, 2014. DOI: 10.1177/1049909114555397.

Mueller K. What you say feeds white and grey: Brain enhancing strategies for effective therapeutic communication. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections meeting, Las Vegas NV, February 6, 2014.

Mueller K, Carter V. Palliative and hospice care for individuals with late to end stage neurodegenerative disease: Strategies for optimizing function and quality of life. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, Las Vegas NV, February 5, 2014.

Mueller K. Coexisting prostate cancer and Parkinson disease leading to admission to hospice: Considerations for physical therapy intervention. Rehab Oncology 2013;31(2):17-21.

Mueller K. Terminal Illness: Hospice Physical Therapy (book chapter). In: Physical Therapy Case Files: Acute Care. Jobst, E (ed). New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013:361-377.

Mueller K. When we are stripped of our clothing: The professional and personal impact of parental loss; (Special Feature Article). Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation; 28(1): January-March 2011 pp.2-9.

Mueller K. A thee level model of communication for personal and professional engagement. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, Chicago, IL, February 9, 2012

Mueller K. Communication and Leadership. American Physical Therapy Association. The Institute of Leadership in Physical Therapy (LAMP). Pre-conference course, American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, Chicago, IL. February 8, 2012.

Mueller K, Decker I. Impact of physical therapy intervention on functional outcomes in a community hospice. 16th International Congress; World Confederation of Physical Therapy, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 2011

Mueller K. A three level model of communication for personal and professional engagement.                 16th International Congress; World Confederation of Physical Therapy; Amsterdam,                 Netherlands, June 2011

Mueller K. Living and Dying in Clinical Practice (one day pre-conference course). American                Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting: San Diego CA, February 17, 2010

Mueller K, Thomson JE. 2008 Oncology Section Clinical Research Award: New opportunities in physical therapy: creating a hospice based physical therapy practice