Health services research (HSR) is 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.
The interdisciplinary nature of the field greatly enriches HSR, but also creates a challenge for researchers working in interdisciplinary teams or reviewing research produced by specialists in another field.
The AcademyHealth HSR Methods Web site was designed to help researchers or research users cross-walk the language, study designs, and methods used by researchers in the variety of fields contributing to health services research.
AcademyHealth established a distinguished Methods Council, chaired by Bryan Dowd of the University of Minnesota, to oversee the process. The Council is composed of 27 members that represent leaders in a range of different disciplines and research methodologies.
Under the guidance of this Council, AcademyHealth has established a coalition of public and private partners that share an interest in increasing the understanding and strengthening of the methods used in health services research. The coalition provides important institutional perspective, as well funding to support this Web site and ancillary resources and tools related to the development of HSR methods.
The HSR Methods Web site is a work in progress with a series of modules that will be added over time. AcademyHealth welcomes your comments and suggestions.