GW Researchers Receive the Health Services Research Pipeline Grant from the Foundation for Physical Therapy

January 16, 2018

Congratulations to Kenneth Harwood, PhD, PT, associate professor of clinical research and leadership in the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), for receiving the Health Services Research Pipeline Grant from the Foundation for Physical Therapy to study how the timing of physical therapy (PT) care and provider mix affects health care costs, utilization, and short- and long-term opioid use through a sample of lower back pain private insurance claims. The grant was made possible by a donation from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Harwood, who also serves as the director of the Health Care Quality Program and the director of research for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at SMHS, along with two additional researchers, received $50,000 to support a one-year project titled, “The Effects of Timing of Physical Therapy on Health Care Costs, Utilizations, and Opioid Use.”  Harwood is working in collaboration with Jesse Pines, MD, MBA, director of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy Research and professor of emergency medicine at SMHS; and with Bianca Frogner, PhD, director of the Center for Health Workforce Studies and associate professor and health economist in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“This grant allows us to continue our multidisciplinary collaborative work to understand the role of PT on health care costs and utilization for patients with low back pain,” Harwood said. “What is especially unique to our study is our emphasis on investigating the effect of PT care on short- and long-term opioid prescriptions. This is critical as we are struggling with an opioid crisis in the US."

The Foundation for Physical Therapy is a national, independent nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of PT care by providing support for scientifically based and clinically relevant PT research, doctoral scholarships, and fellowships.

“As the Foundation continues to open doors to deserving PT researchers, we are certain that the emerging generation of investigators will change the face of rehabilitation research and physical therapeutic interventions,” said Foundation Board of Trustees President Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “We look forward to seeing the growth of our funding recipients as they go on to develop innovations that will transform the field.”