University of Florida and Brooks Rehabilitation Investigator Testing New Screening Tool Validity for People with Musculoskeletal pain

Research Assistant Professor Jason Beneciuk, PT, DPT, PhD, MPH, received the 2018 Orthopaedic Research Grant.

For most of his physical therapy training and research career, Jason Beneciuk, PT, DPT, PhD, MPH,  has focused on psychosocial screening for people with low back pain. Recently, Beneciuk has been investigating similarities across different musculoskeletal (MSK) pain conditions. His primary research focus involves screening methods to find patients with (MSK) pain at high risk for chronic pain, informing physical therapy practice implementation, and introducing quality improvement initiatives in outpatient physical therapy settings.

Beneciuk holds a joint position with the Brooks Rehabilitation as a clinical research investigator and the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida as a research assistant professor. He spends his time expanding on past research within the MSK population.

With his 2018 Orthopaedic Research Grant, Beneciuk aims to test validity of a newly developed screening tool to further inform prognostic clinical decision making. He hopes to advance this line of research through risk profiling to guide individualized treatment approaches. This grant – supported by the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Fund – will fund his project titled, “Discriminant and Predictive Validity Assessment of the Keele STarT MSK Tool for Patients with Musculoskeletal Pain in Outpatient Physical Therapy Settings.”

“This grant provides a tremendous opportunity for our research team,” says Beneciuk. “The proposed study will allow us to extend our line of prognostic research across a wide spectrum of musculoskeletal pain conditions. Hopefully this research will improve physical therapists ability to predict patient clinical outcomes.”

Beneciuk received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2002. In 2011, he received his MPH with an epidemiology concentration from the University of Florida. That same year, he also received his PhD in Rehabilitation Science and was supported by an NIH T32 pre-doctoral fellowship. Beneciuk was also supported by the National Institutes of Health K12 Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Center on Health Services Training and Research.

Beneciuk currently teaches evidence-based practice in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Florida. He serves as an editorial board member for Physical Therapy and international editorial review board member for the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.

Select Foundation Grants and Scholarships Awarded



  • Beneciuk JM, George SZ, Greco C, Schneider M, Wegener ST, Saper R, Delitto A. Targeted Interventions to Prevent Chronic Low Back Pain in High Risk Patients: Development and Delivery of a Pragmatic Training Course of Psychologically Informed Physical Therapy for the TARGET Trial. Trials. 2019 May 6;20(1):256. doi: 10.1186/s13063-019-3350-3. PMID: 31060589.

  • Beneciuk JM, Lentz TA, He Y, Wu SS, George SZ. Prediction of Persistent Musculoskeletal Pain at 12 Months: A Secondary Analysis of the Optimal Screening for Prediction of Referral and Outcome (OSPRO) Longitudinal Validation Cohort Study. Phys Ther. 2018 May 1;98(5):290-301. PMID: 29669081.

  • Beneciuk JM, Fritz JM, George SZ. “STarT Back Screening Tool for Prediction of 6 Month Clinical Outcomes: Relevance of Change Patterns in Outpatient Physical Therapy Settings.” J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Sep;44(9):656-64. PMID: 25098194.