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Mitchell Batavia

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy


Dr. Mitchell Zackery Batavia, Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Program at New York University, is a former department chair (2013-2019), and holds a BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Delaware, an MA in Motor Learning from Columbia University, and a PhD in Physical Therapy/Pathokinesiology from New York University (1997), a Robert Salant Post Doctoral Fellowship at NYU /NYU Medical Center (1998), and a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) in Epidemiology from the University of London (2008).

Dr. Batavia has authored over twenty-five publications including five books (one as a 2nd edition). His earlier books include The Wheelchair Evaluation: A Practical Guide (1998 Butterworth Heinemann; 2004 Korean Translation), a "nuts and bolts" textbook on wheelchair prescription and Clinical Research for Health Professionals: A user-friendly guide (2001, Butterworth Heinemann), an introduction to research/ scientific inquiry using metaphors to drive home challenging and often misunderstood concepts. In Spring 2002, Dr. Batavia received the Goddard Award to fund his research on testing functional rotation abilities in non-disabled adults and in persons with Parkinson's disease and in 2006, Batavia penned the comprehensive reference textbook Contraindications in Physical Rehabilitation: Doing No Harm, (2006, Saunders/ Elsevier Best Seller) aimed at informing practice and improving patient care by bringing variant physical rehabilitation safety guidelines/ concerns under "one roof."

In 2010, Dr. Batavia authored The Wheelchair Evaluation: a Clinician's Guide (Jones & Bartlett). In this second edition, he dedicated four new chapters to address timely prescriptive issues as funding for equipment becomes tighter and documentation comes under increasing Medicare scrutiny. He also created animation and video clips in an accompanying CD for the book to assist teachers and learners. (see sample).The textbook has been adopted for use in accredited continuing education.

Later, in August of that year, Dr. Batavia was invited to serve on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy and in September of that year, he joined the Cochrane Collaboration, an international, not-for-profit, independent organization aimed at examining evidence for health care.  He serves as peer-reviewer refereeing for the Cochrane Injuries Group,  worked on a protocol for the Working Group, and is currently on a Cochrane Airways Group review. He is a Cochrane member.

Dr. Batavia was appointed Department Chair in 2013 and held two terms (2013- 2019).

In the academic year 15-16, Batavia embarked on a Memoir Project, co-authoring Wisdom From a Chair: Thirty Years of Quadriplegia, The Memoirs of Andrew I Batavia, which was published during the American's with Disabilities (ADA) 25th Anniversary year, describes the life of an international disability activist and scholar with high-level quadriplegia who wrote regulations for the ADA (title iii).(forewords by Former US Attorney General and former Governor of Pennsylvania Dick Thornburgh and Senator John McCain of Arizona). (The back story on the book can be found in the personal essay "a brother's memoir" which has received over one thousand views). His life story powerfully illustrates how modest accommodations at the workplace can lead to historic output in the US. 

Dr. Batavia's broad research interests include evidence-based practice/risk guidelines, instrument development, augmented feedback, and wheelchair/seating positioning. His current focus is on systematic reviews/meta-analyses. In addition to his  teaching, research and administrative responsibilities, Dr. Batavia has served as a manuscript reviewer or referee for Perceptual Motor Skills, Butterworth Heinemann, the Neurology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (JNPT) and the Cochrane Collaboration and has served as an item-writer for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT)

At the 75th Anniversary of NYU Langone Health Rusk Rehabilitation (2023) , Dr. Batavia was the honored recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.  

In summer 2024, Dr. Batavia plans to offer two short intensive six week online courses:
  • PT-GE 3021: Systematic Reviews Health Prof Interventions I:
    Writing a Protocol
  • PT-GE 3022: Systematic Reviews Health Prof Interventions II: Synthesizing Data

Selected Publications


  • Annaswamy T, Cunniff K, Rizzo JR, Naeimi T, Kumbhare D, Batavia M. Methodological Issues Relevant to Blinding in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2023 Mar 4. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000002228.
  • Vorensky M., Murray T., McGovern A.F., Patel Y.Y., Rao S., Batavia M. Effect of integrated exercise therapy and psychosocial interventions on self-efficacy in patients with chronic low back pain: A systematic review. J. Psychosom. Res. 2023;165:no pagination. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2022.111126
  • Janjua, S., Pike, KC., Carr, R., Fortescue, R., Coles, A. & Batavia M. Interventions to improve adherence to pharmacological therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Sep 2021, In: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 9, CD013381.
  • Li, Z., Bhagavathula, A. S., Batavia, M., Clark, C., Abdulazeem, H. M., Rahmani, J. & Yin, F.The effect of almonds consumption on blood pressure: A systematic review and dose-response meta- analysis of randomized control trials Jan 1 2020, Journal of King Said University -Science. 32, 2, p. 1757-1763. 7
  • Carter, S. C., Batavia, M. Z., Gutierrez, G. M. & Capezuti, E. A., Joint movements associated with minimum toe clearance variability in older adults during level overground walking Jan 2020, Gait and Posture. 75, p. 14-21.
  • Batavia, M., A brother's memoir. Dec 2019, Disability & Society
  • Kim G, Hinojosa J, Rao A, Batavia M, O’Dell M, Randomized Trial on the Effects of Attentional Focus on Motor Training of the Upper Extremity Using Robotics with Individuals after Chronic Stroke, Arch Phy Med Rehabil (2018), doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.12.021. (Author Response)
  • Kim G, Hinojosa, J, Rao A, Batavia, M, O'Dell Effects of Attentional Focus on Motor Training of the Upper Extremity Using Robotics with Individuals after Chronic Stroke. Submitted/Accepted with revisions Arch Phy Med Rehabil. fall 2016.


  • Batavia A.I., Batavia M. Wisdom From a Chair: Thirty Years of Quadriplegia, Inc., Bradenton, Florida,2016. (link)
  • Batavia M. The Wheelchair Evaluation: A Clinician's Guide. 2nd Edition. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2010 (link)
  • Batavia M. Contraindications in Physical Rehabilitation: Doing No Harm. St Louis MO: WB Saunders, 2006. (link)
  • Batavia M. Clinical Research for Health Professionals: A User-friendly Guide. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2001.
  • Batavia M. The Wheelchair Evaluation: A Practical Guide. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann,1998.