Clarissa Hsu, PhD

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“I want to empower individuals and communities by ensuring they have the information and support from health care systems to make decisions and take action to improve their health and well-being. This means directly involving them in the design and testing of health care processes and interventions.”

 

Clarissa Hsu, PhD

Associate Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Clarissa.W.Hsu@kp.org
206-287-4276

Biography

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.

Research interests and experience

  • Clinical Quality Improvement

    Primary care; ambulatory care; preventive medicine; health care design and workforce issues; addressing social determinants of health
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research/Patient-Centered Care

    Patient engagement and partnership; shared decision making
  • Chronic Pain

    Using safe and effective methods to treat pain, supporting patients to minimize opioid use, cannabis use, communication about pain
  • Addressing Social Risks in Clinical Settings

    Screening and providing support for patients with social needs 
  • Complementary & Integrative Health

    Patient experiences with complementary and alternative medicine 

  • Evaluation Science and Implementation and Dissemination Science

    Qualitative and mixed-methods approaches

Recent publications

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.

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

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

Ladden MD, Bodenheimer T, Fishman NW, Flinter M, Hsu C, Parchman M, Wagner EH. The emerging primary care workforce: preliminary observations from the primary care team: learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices Project. Acad Med. 2013 Dec;88(12):1830-4. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000027. Epub 2013 Oct 14. PubMed

Grow HM, Hsu C, Liu LL, Briner L, Jessen-Fiddick T, Lozano P, Saelens BE. Understanding family motivations and barriers to participation in community-based programs for overweight youth: one program model does not fit all. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2013 Jul-Aug;19(4):E1-E10. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31825ceaf9. PubMed

Reid RJ, Johnson EA, Hsu C, Ehrlich K, Coleman K, Trescott C, Erikson M, Ross TR, Liss DT, Cromp D, Fishman PA. Spreading a medical home redesign: effects on emergency department use and hospital admissions. Ann Fam Med. 2013 May-Jun;11 Suppl 1:S19-26. doi: 10.1370/afm.1476. PubMed

Tomoaia-Cotisel A, Scammon DL, Waitzman NJ, Cronholm PF, Halladay JR, Driscoll DL, Solberg LI, Hsu C, Tai-Seale M, Hiratsuka V, Shih SC, Fetters MD, Wise CG, Alexander JA, Hauser D, McMullen CK, Scholle SH, Tirodkar MA, Schmidt L, Donahue KE, Parchman ML, Stange KC. Context matters: the experience of 14 research teams in systematically reporting contextual factors important for practice change. Ann Fam Med. 2013 May-Jun;11 Suppl 1:S115-23. doi: 10.1370/afm.1549. PubMed

Hsu C, Liss DT, Westbrook EO, Arterburn D. Incorporating patient decision aids into standard clinical practice in an integrated delivery system. Med Decis Making. 2013 Jan;33(1):85-97. doi: 10.1177/0272989X12468615. PubMed

Schafer LM, Hsu C, Eaves ER, Ritenbaugh C, Turner J, Cherkin DC, Sims C, Sherman KJ. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers' views of chronic low back pain patients' expectations of CAM therapies: a qualitative study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Nov 27;12(1):234. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-234. PubMed

 

New funding

Close-up image of Clarissa Hsu

KPWHRI to launch study on vaccine hesitancy among long-term care workers

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute plans to award $4.75 million to compare ways to raise COVID-19 immunization rates.

Healthy Findings Blog

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Vaccine hesitancy in the time of COVID-19

Can lessons from Immunity Community help build acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines? Clarissa Hsu, PhD, thinks so. 

news

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What defines outstanding primary care leadership?

The MacColl Center’s LEAP project identifies 11 features of effective leadership at primary care practices.

research

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LINCC-ing patients with community resources

Study ends but benefits for Kaiser Permanente members continue — thanks to a new support role in the regions’ clinics, writes Dr. Clarissa Hsu.