Research/Areas of Interest:

Chronic Pain, Virtual Reality, Musculoskeletal Health, Ergonomics

Nancy Baker's research focuses on ways to mitigate musculoskeletal pain, so people with chronic pain can increase their participation in everyday life. She focuses on three pain mitigation pathways: 1) workstation ergonomics to address work environment properties that propagate pain; 2) improving care delivery in CTS; and 3) virtual reality (VR) as a therapeutic medium for pain.

Baker's research is eclectic and uses a variety of tools and techniques to answer her research questions. A new area for her, her current research examines how to implement VR into clinical practice. Here pilot work has looked at what types and dosages of VR are most effective, how different diagnoses, such as chronic back pain or osteoarthritis, respond to VR, and she has partnered with rehabilitation centers to trial different implementation practices. So far, her research consistently demonstrates that VR has a significant effect on pain and that it can be feasibly done by practicing therapists. Some results found a carryover of effect past the immediate VR session. Baker is also working with colleagues to examine new paradigms in carpal tunnel treatment and is completing a trial looking at dosage for standing desk use.


  • MPH, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, United States, 2009
  • DSc, Boston University, Boston, United States, 2000
  • MS, Boston University, Boston, United States, 1997
  • BS, Tufts University, Medford, United States, 1985