Medical anthropologist Clarissa Hsu, PhD, has been doing Kaiser Permanente research since 2001, and became an official member of the faculty in 2011. She conducts research using a holistic approach that unites the cultural, social, and political factors that shape health and health care. Dr. Hsu was one of the first researchers to receive funding from the national Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which supports studies on issues that are a high priority for patients, caregivers, and clinicians. PCORI-funded research follows an innovative model, including patient input at all steps in the research process. Dr. Hsu and her team christened her PCORI project LINCC: Learning to Integrate Neighborhoods and Clinical Care.
The LINCC project designed, piloted, and evaluated a new primary care role: connecting patients to community resources. This new community resource specialist role was spread throughout Kaiser Permanente Washington, with a robust evaluation and implementation support co-led by Dr. Hsu through KPWHRI’s Center for Accelerating Care Transformation. LINCC also resulted in the creation of valuable health care resources, including an article on having patients as co-investigators, as well as a guide and set of care-design templates for engaging a cohort of patients in co-designing care.
Dr. Hsu is also at the forefront of other prevalent health issues, working to document, design, evaluate, and disseminate new approaches and best practices. She seeks to help chronic pain patients taper off and find alternatives to opioids. She also works to improve how care delivery systems interact with patients and family members around sensitive and complex topics such as dementia diagnoses, use of antipsychotics in youth, blood pressure diagnosis and control, cannabis use, and childhood vaccinations.
Dr. Hsu is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
Patient experiences with complementary and alternative medicine
Clinic-community linkages; preventive medicine; addressing social determinants of health
Prevention and treatment
Robbins M, Tufte J, Hsu C. Learning to "swim" with the experts: experiences of two patient co-investigators for a project funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Perm J. 2016;20(2):85-8. doi: 10.7812/TPP/15-162. Epub 2016 Apr 8. PubMed
Cherkin D, Balderson B, Brewer G, Cook A, Estlin KT, Evers SC, Foster NE, Hill JC, Hawkes R, Hsu C, Jensen M, LaPorte AM, Levine MD, Piekara D, Rock P, Sherman K, Sowden G, Wellman R, Yeoman J. Evaluation of a risk-stratification strategy to improve primary care for low back pain: the MATCH cluster randomized trial protocol. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016 Aug 24;17(1):361. doi: 10.1186/s12891-016-1219-0. PubMed
Cromp D, Hsu C, Coleman K, Fishman PA, Liss DT, Ehrlich K, Johnson E, Ross TR, Trescott C, Trehearne B, Reid RJ. Barriers and facilitators to team-based care in the context of primary care transformation. J Ambul Care Manage. 2015 Apr-Jun;38(2):125-33. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000056.
Eaves ER, Sherman KJ, Ritenbaugh C, Hsu C, Nichter M, Turner JA, Cherkin DC. A qualitative study of changes in expectations over time among patients with chronic low back pain seeking four CAM therapies. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015 Feb 5;15(1):12. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Tuzzio L, Richards JE, Ludman EJ, Hsu C. Building infrastructure to recruit, hire and engage patient partners in research collaborations. J Patient-Centered Res Rev. 2015;2:136-137.
Bush T, Hsu C, Levine MD, Magnusson B, Miles L. Weight gain and smoking: perceptions and experiences of obese quitline participants. BMC Public Health. 2014 Nov 27;14(1):1229. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1229.
Hsu C, Lemon JM, Wong ES, Carson-Cheng E, Perkins M, Nordstrom MS, Liu CF, Sprague C, Bryson CL. Factors affecting medication adherence: patient perspectives from five Veterans Affairs facilities. BMC Health Serv Res. 2014 Nov 13;14:533. doi: 10.1186/s12913-014-0533-1. Epub 2014 Nov 13. PubMed
Eaves E, Ritenbaugh C, Hsu C, Sherman K. Changing hopes and expectations of CAM treatments for back pain: a longitudinal qualitative analysis. J Altern Complement Med. 2014;20(5):A141. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.5377.abstract.
Sherman KJ, Eaves ER, Ritenbaugh C, Hsu C, Cherkin DC, Turner JA. Cognitive interviews guide design of a new CAM patient expectations questionnaire. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jan 25;14(1):39. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-39. PubMed
Hsu C, Sherman KJ, Eaves ER, Turner JA, Cherkin DC, Cromp D, Schafer L, Ritenbaugh C. New perspectives on patient expectations of treatment outcomes: results from qualitative interviews with patients seeking complementary and alternative medicine treatments for chronic low back pain. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jul 30;14(1):276. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-276. PubMed
Use in pregnancy and screening in primary care studied by KPWHRI’s Kiel, Matson, and Lapham.
Study ends but benefits for Kaiser Permanente members continue — thanks to a new support role in the regions’ clinics, writes Dr. Clarissa Hsu.
Partnering with Patients as Equals in Co-Designing Primary Care: Examples and Tools from the LINCC Project
Clarissa Hsu, PhD, asked parents why they decline or delay vaccinating their children to explore ways to overcome barriers to getting vaccinated.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute plans to award $4.75 million to compare ways to raise COVID-19 immunization rates.
Healthcare Innovation, July 25, 2022