HDI Fund for Excellence Awarded for Innovative Techniques to Assess the Effectiveness of KY Healthcare Program

HDI’s Tony LoBianco and Chithra Adams, as well as Pat Kitzman with the college of Health Sciences, recently received the HDI Fund for Excellence award to examine “Using Propensity Score Matching to assess effectiveness of health navigators on outcomes for stroke patients.” Heart disease and strokes, which are often linked to disabilities, occur more frequently in Appalachian Kentucky. In addition, “Rehabilitation providers have noted that people with disabilities in rural areas are at increased risk of secondary complications due to a lack of access to specialized support services and limited healthcare provider knowledge about neurological impairments.” Therefore, the Kentucky Care Coordination for Community Transitions (KC3T) program trains lay community health  “navigators” to support the transition of individuals with stroke and their caregivers.

The purpose of this grant is to determine the impact of the KC3T interventions on healthcare utilization by using a statistical method known as propensity score matching to create an artificial control group from existing databases. The point is to evaluate the effectiveness of this existing program using an innovative technique because randomized control trials are often difficult to assess with certain populations. Ultimately, the researchers hope to publish the results of this study and document the effectiveness of this method which could be applied to other programs.

Tony LoBianco shares, “We are excited about the opportunity to provide empirical evidence that can speak to the effectiveness of an innovative program which could be a great benefit to our state.”