Tanya Packer

Director, School of Health Administration, Professor, School of Occupational Therapy

Email: tanya.packer@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-2201
Fax: 902-494-6849
Mailing Address: 
School of Health Administration
Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, 2nd Floor
5850 College Street
PO Box 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2 Canada
Research Topics:
  • Self-Management
  • Fatigue Management
  • Chronic Condition Management
  • Patient Reported Outcomes
  • Disability
  • Occupational Therapy


Dr. Tanya Packer holds the dual positions of Professor, School of Occupational Therapy and Director, School of Health Administration (SHA). She is a highly accomplished senior scholar and academic leader in clinical and health services research, and a tenured full professor. In addition to her leadership at SHA, she is the Assistant Dean (Partnerships) within the Faculty of Health. Dr. Packer brings to her role a background as a health practitioner, and extensive international scholarship and research networks. She completed her undergraduate professional qualification as an occupational therapist at Western University, London Ontario, followed by a masters and PhD in the Department of Anatomy at Queen’s University, Kingston Ontario. Her academic career spans three continents (North America, Asia and Australia/New Zealand) and four prestigious universities (Queen’s University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Curtin University and Dalhousie University).

Dr. Packer co-leads the International Chronic and Complex Condition Research Group (IC3RG), with a focus on improving the everyday lives of people with chronic and complex conditions. This includes patient engagement in care, interventions to improve quality of life, and health services research to improve care. She is an internationally recognized scholar with a Scopus h-index of 21. With almost 40 peer reviewed journal articles in the last five years alone, she is investigator (PI, Co-PI and Co-I) on grants/contracts totalling more than $8 M in the last eight years (lifetime > $16M). She has supervised over 40 research trainees and is currently supervising PhD students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Iran and the Netherlands. She currently holds research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (co-PI), the Patient Centred Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in the US (co-I and Dalhousie site-PI) and the Princes Beatrix Spierfunds in the Netherlands (co-I). She is a visiting professor at Radboud medical university in the Netherlands and Visiting Professor at Umea University in Sweden.


  • BSc(OT), University of Western Ontario
  • MSc, Queen’s University
  • PhD, Queen’s University

Selected awards and honours

  • Dr. Jane Gillett, Research Award. Brain Injury Association of Canada, 2013
  • Appreciate Award, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Western Australia, 2009
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Curtin University, 2006


  • College of Occupational Therapists of Nova Scotia
  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Selected publications (2019-2021 only)

  • Douglas SL, Plow M, Packer T, Lipson A, Lehman M. (Accepted July 6, 2021). Psych-Educational Intervention for Caregivers of Persons with Multiple Sclerosis: Protocol for a Randomized Trial. JMRI Research Protocols. https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/30617/accepted
  •  Atul J*, Santhakumaran S, Walker S, Sukhai M, Packer T, Kessler D. (2021, July). A Scoping Review of Vision Rehabilitation Services in Canada. British Journal of Visual Impairment, https://doi.org/10.1177/02646196211029344
  • Packer TL, Kephart G, Audulv A*, Keddy AC*, Warner G, Peacock K, Sampalli T. (2020, September). Protocol for Development, Calibration and Validation of the Patient Reported Inventory of Self-Management of Chronic Conditions (PRISM-CC). BMJ Open, 10(9), e036776. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-036776
  • Guilcher SJT, Hogan ME, McCormack D, Calzavara AJ. Hitzig SL, Patel T, Packer T, Guan Q, Lofter A. Prescription Medications Dispensed Following a Nontraumatic Spinal Cord Dysfunction: A Retrospective Population-based Study in Ontario, Canada. Spinal Cord 59, 132–140 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41393-020-0511-x
  • Guilcher SJT, Hogan ME, Guan Q, McCormack D, Calzavara A, Patel T, Hitzig SL, Packer T, Lofters AK. (2021). Prevalence of Prescribed Opioid Claims Among Persons with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury in Ontario, Canada: A Population-based Retrospective Cohort Study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; 102(1); 35-43. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2020.06.020
  • Keddy AC*, Packer TL, Audulv A*, Sutherland L, Sampalli T, Edwards L, Kephart G. (2020, July). The Team Assessment of Self-Management Support (TASMS): A new approach to uncovering how teams support people with chronic conditions. Healthcare Management Forum. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0840470420942262
  • Audulv A*, Hutchinson S, Warner G, Kephart G, Versnel J, Packer TL. (2020, July). Managing everyday life: Self-management strategies people use to live well with neurological conditions. Patient Education and Counseling. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2020.07.025
  • Plow M, Packer TL, Mathiowetz V, Preissner K, Ghahari S*, Sattar A, Bethoux F, Finlayson M. (2020, June). REFRESH protocol: A noninferiority randomized clinical trial comparing internet and teleconference to in-person “Managing Fatigue” interventions on the impact of fatigue among persons with multiple sclerosis. BMJ Open. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035470
  • Cadel L, Hitzig SL, Packer TL, Patel T, Lofters AK, Thompson A & Guilcher SJT. (2020, May). Spinal cord injury/dysfunction and medication management: a qualitative study exploring the experiences of community-dwelling adults in Ontario, Canada. Disability and Rehabilitation. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2020.1756000
  • Guilcher S, Cadel L, DeLuca C, Hitzig SL, Packer TL, Lofters A & Petal T. (2020). Self-management of pain and depression in adults with spinal cord injury: A scoping review. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 40(3), 280-297. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2018.1523776
  • Guilcher SJT, Everall AC, Patel, T, Packer TL, Hitzig SL, Cimino R, Lofters AK. (2020). The strategies are the same, the problems may be different”: a qualitative study exploring the experiences of healthcare and service providers with medication therapy management for individuals with spinal cord injury/dysfunction. BMC Neurology, 20. doi:10.1186/s12883-019-1550-9
  • Cadel L, Everall A, Packer TL, Hitzig SL, Patel T, Lofters AK, Guilcher SJT. (2020). Exploring the perspectives of medication self-management among persons with spinal cord injury/dysfunction and providers. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. (In Press)
  • Cadel L, Everall AC, Packer TL, Hitzig SL, Patel T, Lofters AK, Guilcher SJT. (2020, January). Exploring the perspectives on medication self-management among persons with spinal cord injury/dysfunction and providers. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2020.01.014 (In Press)
  • Guilcher SJT, Everall AC, Patel T, Packer TL, Hitzig SL, Lofters AK. (2019). Medication adherence for persons with spinal cord injury and dysfunction from the perspectives of healthcare providers: A qualitative study. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 42:sup 1, 215-225. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2019.1637644
  • Warner G, Packer TL, Kervin E, Sibbald K, Audulv A*. (2019). A systematic review examining whether community-based self-management programs for older adults with chronic conditions actively engage participants and teach them patient-oriented self-management strategies. Patient Education and Counseling, 102(12), 2161-2182. doi:.org/10.1016/j.pec.2019.07.002
  • Cadel L, Everall A, Hitzig SL, Packer TL, Patel T, Lofters AK & Guilcher SJT. (2019). Spinal cord injury and polypharmacy: a scoping review. Disability and Rehabilitation. doi:.org/10.1080/09638288.2019.1610085
  • Mansson Lexell E, Haglund L & Packer TL. (2019). The “Managing Fatigue” Programme for people with multiple sclerosis – Acceptance and feasibility with Swedish occupational therapists. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy. doi: 10.1080/11038128.2019.1634149
  • Audulv A*, Ghahari S*, Kephart G, Warner G & Packer T. (2019). The Taxonomy of Everyday Self-Management Strategies (TEDSS): A framework derived from the literature and refined using empirical data. Patient Education and Counselling, 102(2), 367-375. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2018.08.034