Research Background

 Health services research has been defined as “the multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. Its research domains are individuals, families, organizations, institutions, communities, and populations.” (Association for Health Services Research).

Faculty in the Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice (HSPP) engage in a broad range of health services research. Total research funding for departmental faculty in 2013, including both the Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research and the Center for Evidence Based Medicine, was approximately $8M. Department investigators have collaborations with a broad range of groups including other academic departments at Brown University, Rhode Island state government agencies, the Veterans Administration Medical Center and other Brown affiliated hospitals.

Areas of Research Expertise

Research centers in HSPP
There are two Centers that are closely associated with the Department of HSPP: the Center for Gerontology & Healthcare Research (CGHCR, Established in 1986) and the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM, established in 2012). Centers in the School of Public Health are intentionally designed to facilitate collaboration with other Centers.

Areas of substantive expertise

There are 10 broad areas of faculty expertise in HSPP. These areas are presented here in brief, narrative form, and a number of them have substantial overlap.

  • Aging/Gerontology
  • Medicare and Medicaid policy research
  • End of life and palliative care research
  • Nursing home care quality
  • Evidence synthesis and meta-analysis
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Physician-patient communication, shared decision-making, and stakeholder engagementConditional economic incentives and behavioral economics
  • HIV
  • Disparities

Key Partners

  • Brown University Departments and Teaching Hospitals
  • RI State Agencies
  • Providence Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center
  • OptumLabs