School of Health Professions

Associate Dean for Research receives RO1 funding to study the influence of social determinants of health in rehabilitation outcomes pre- and post-COVID-19

Associate Dean and Professor Timothy Reistetter, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

School of Health Professions Associate Dean for Research Timothy Reistetter, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, a professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, has secured more than $1.5 million in RO1 grant funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to support his research on the effect of social determinants of health on rehabilitation outcomes before and after COVID-19 in the United States.

The project, “Evaluation of Post-Acute Care Access and Outcomes: Influence of Social Determinants of Health on Urban and Rural Rehabilitation Service Areas Before and After COVID-19,” will examine the relationship between social determinants of health and access to post-acute care across various settings, including in-patient rehabilitation, long-term acute care, skilled nursing and home health for both rural and urban rehabilitation service areas. Reistetter and his collaborators at The University of Texas Medical Branch will also study how these relationships are influenced by racial and ethnic population density as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, and their impact on post-acute care outcomes of readmission and successful community discharge.

The study will inform clinicians, researchers, communities and policy debates, Reistetter said, and may lead to improved post-acute care outcomes and a better understanding of social determinants of health factors that affect quality of care. 

“We know that outcomes of care are influenced by factors outside the health care system, and this is true in rehabilitation as well as in other health care areas,” he said. “This is a foundational study to examine the impact of non-clinical factors on outcomes, with the goal of improving quality of care for everyone across both urban and rural settings.”

The grant runs from March 1, 2024, through Dec. 31, 2027.

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