Dale M Needham, M.D., Ph.D.

Headshot of Dale M Needham
  • Medical Director, Critical Care Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Program
  • Professor of Medicine


Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), Delirium, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine ...read more

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Appointment Phone: 410-955-3467
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
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Dr. Dale Needham is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also holds an appointment in physical medicine and rehabilitation. His areas of clinical expertise include pulmonary and critical care medicine.

Dr. Needham serves as the medical director of the Critical Care Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program and the director of the Outcomes After Critical Illness and Surgery (OACIS) Group at Johns Hopkins.

He earned his M.D. from the McMaster University School of Medicine. He completed his residency and performed a fellowship in critical care medicine at the University of Toronto.

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  • Medical Director, Critical Care Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Program
  • Director, Outcomes After Critical Illness and Surgery (OACIS) Group
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; McMaster University School of Medicine (1998)


  • Internal Medicine; University of Toronto (2001)


  • Critical Care Medicine; University of Toronto (2003)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Critical Care Medicine) (2012)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Needham has over 400 publications, with his research focused on advancing medical care in the intensive care unit to improve patients’ long-term outcomes (LTO), including physical, psychological, and quality of life status after critical illness (details at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/pulmonary/research/outcomes-after-critical-illness/). He is focused on innovative research aimed at improving methods of physical rehabilitation to reduce muscle weakness and functional impairment, as well as preventing and treating delirium in the intensive care unit (see https://www.johnshopkinssolutions.com/solution/amp/activity-mobility-promotion-amp-icu/).  His research interests also include patient safety, quality of care, and “knowledge translation” of evidence-based therapies into clinical practice.  He is a Principal Investigator on many federally-funded, peer-reviewed grants, including these completed studies:  NIH-funded ARDSNet Long-Term Outcomes Study (ALTOS), the Improving Care of Acute Lung Injury Patients (ICAP) study, and the ImproveLTO national infrastructure grant aimed at advancing clinical research methodology for improving acute respiratory failure patients’ outcomes after hospital discharge.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Ruhl AP, Huang M, Colantuoni E, Karmarkar T, Dinglas VD, Hopkins RO, Needham DM; With the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network. Healthcare utilization and costs in ARDS survivors: a 1-year longitudinal national US multicenter study. Intensive Care Med. 2017 May 26. doi: 10.1007/s00134-017-4827-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Needham DM, Sepulveda KA, Dinglas VD, Chessare CM, Aronson Friedman L, Bingham Iii CO, Turnbull AE. Core Outcome Measures for Clinical Research in Acute Respiratory Failure Survivors: An International Modified Delphi Consensus Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 May 24. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201702-0372OC. [Epub ahead of print]

Activities & Honors


  • Honorary Membership, American Physical Therapy Association, 2020
  • Member, American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), 2019
  • Highly Cited Researcher in Science and Social Science, Web of Science, 2019 - 2019

Videos & Media

Play Video:

Johns Hopkins Medicine: Early Mobility in the ICU

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Long COVID Isn’t as Unique as We Thought | Vox (March 2021)

Many Survivors of This Lung Disease Lose Their Jobs | Futurity (May 2017)

A New Awareness of Mental Health in ICU Patients | Restore (Spring 2017)

Depression Common After Time Spent in ICU | U.S. News & World Report (August 2016)

A Tactic to Cut I.C.U. Trauma: Get Patients Up | The New York Times (January 2009)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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