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Ken Harwood, PhD, Member of Research Team Recognized with the John M. Eisenberg Article-of-the-Year Award from Health Services Research

Kenneth Harwood, PhD, PT, director of the Health Care Quality Program, research director for the Physical Therapy Program, and associate professor of clinical research and leadership at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was a co-author on a paper that received the 2019 John M. Eisenberg Article-of-the-Year in Health Services Research.

The annual award was established in 2003 and recognizes excellent and original research among articles published in the Health Services Research Journal during the previous year. Awardees are selected by the co-editors-in-chief, the senior associate editors, and the publisher based on the overall quality of the article and its relevance to policy-relevant areas that Eisenberg worked in or promoted during his tenure as director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

The paper, titled “Physical therapy as the first point of care to treat low back pain: An instrumental variables approach to estimate impact on opioid prescription, health care utilization and costs,” was published in the December 2018 issue. The research compared differences in opioid prescriptions, health care utilization, and costs among patients with low back pain who saw a physical therapist at the first point of care. The research team found there was lower utilization of high-cost medical services, as well as lower opioid use, when patients saw a physical therapist first.  

The study was one of the top 20 articles downloaded in 2018 from Health Services Research Journal. As a result, the article is free to download through the end of July 2019.

The research team was led by Bianca Frogner, PhD, director of the Center for Health Workforce Studies and associate professor of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. In addition to Harwood, the team also included Jesse Pines, MD, MBA, national director of clinical innovation at US Acute Care Solutions; Holly Andrilla, MS, research scientist in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine; and Malaika Schwartz, MPH, research scientist in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. 

The team was recognized during the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, held earlier this month. 

To learn more about the John M. Eisenberg Article-of-the-Year in Health Services Research, and to see previous winners, visit: http://www.hsr.org/hsr/abouthsr/eisenbergaward.jsp