Research Areas


Featured Area

Mental Health

Mental health is a vital part of overall health. But traditional mental health care reaches only a fraction of the millions who could benefit.

Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) are finding practical, patient-centered ways to reach people affected by conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.

KPWHRI In The Media

Finding clues to dementia and Alzheimer’s

Tracking King County seniors (and their brains) for clues to dementia and Alzheimer’s

Seattle Times, April 14, 2023

Research Area Overview


KPWHRI researchers are exploring how to improve prevention and treatment of health issues due to alcohol and other drug use. The addictions research group conducts innovative research to help patients and their providers prevent and treat problems caused by tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, opioids, and other drugs in health settings.

Aging & Geriatrics

Nearly all KPWHRI research contributes to helping seniors lead healthier lives, including studies that have followed Kaiser Permanente Washington members over decades. Learn how our findings have changed how people think about physical activity, brain health, and what it means to grow old.

Behavior Change

Behavior plays a major part in everybody's well being. Find out how KPWHRI research is making it easier to develop lifelong habits that can keep you and your family healthy.


High-quality health care research depends on high-quality biostatistics. Discover how KPWHRI's Biostatistics Unit develops, improves, and applies rigorous statistical methods to enhance research at Kaiser Permanente Washington and nationwide.


KPWHRI researchers are improving the quality of cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment. By studying populations within Kaiser Permanente Washington and large national research networks, they are helping to improve health outcomes for millions. Learn more.

Cardiovascular Health

KPWHRI studies how genetics, medications, and everyday choices affect heart health. See how our discoveries in prevention and treatment can improve the health of patients today and for years to come. 

Child & Adolescent Health

From before birth to late adolescence, health experiences can affect the quality of a person's entire life. Explore how KPWHRI research is getting kids off to a great start through healthy lifestyles, management of chronic health problems, and more.

Chronic Illness Management

Meeting the complex needs of patients with chronic illness or impairment is the single greatest challenge facing organized medical practice. KPWHRI leads the way in developing, implementing, and promoting better models of care for chronic illness. Find out more.

Complementary & Integrative Health

See how KPWHRI leads the nation in research on complementary and integrative treatments for back pain and more. We use rigorous scientific methods to evaluate the effectiveness—and cost-effectiveness—of such therapies delivered in real-world practice.

Health Informatics

KPWHRI focuses on developing health information technology to transform health care delivery. Learn how our work is engaging patients and providers together, both inside and outside traditional health care settings.

Health Services & Economics

As American health care undergoes unprecedented changes, KPWHRI research focuses on finding out what works—and what doesn't—to improve health outcomes, patient experience, and affordability. See how we're influencing health care delivery, coverage, policy, and more.

Healthy Communities

Staying healthy requires more than access to a great care team. People need walkable streets, wholesome food, and other healthy conditions. Read about researchers from our Center for Community Health and Evaluation who are making neighborhoods vital and strong.

Medication Use & Patient Safety

Americans are using more prescription drugs than ever. KPWHRI researchers are studying the harms and benefits—helping to reduce side effects, hazardous drug interactions, and costs. These issues are especially important for those with multiple conditions and medications. Learn more.

Mental Health

Traditional mental health therapy reaches only a fraction of the millions who need treatment. KPWHRI researchers are finding practical, patient-centered ways to reach people affected by conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.


KPWHRI research focuses on three ways to halt America’s obesity epidemic. See how we're helping to change obesity-promoting environments, bring evidence-based prevention and treatment programs into health care systems, and help people develop lifelong healthy diet and activity habits.

Preventive Medicine

Great preventive care means promoting healthy behaviors, building sound prevention services into everyday clinical care, and designing smart health care benefits. KPWHRI researchers have access to data from a large, stable population over time, allowing them to discover which approaches to prevention work best. Find out more.

Social Determinants of Health

KPWHRI researchers are committed to understanding how to best identify, understand, and appropriately respond to factors known as social determinants of health to improve the health of our members and our communities.

Vaccines & Infectious Diseases

KPWHRI research guards communities by continually improving the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Learn how our immunization studies help protect children, adults, and seniors from dangerous infectious diseases, including COVID-19.