Sharon L. Larson, PHD
Executive Director, Center for Population Health Research
Dr. Larson serves as a Professor and the Executive Director of the Main Line Health Center for Population Health Research at LIMR. Population Health aims to improve the health of entire populations. It is concerned with understanding health and health care from the perspective of patients, providers, payer systems, and communities in order to identify strategies for promoting health and well-being.
Dr. Larson’s research focus encompasses behavioral health (substance abuse and psychiatric conditions), epidemiology, policy, access to care, care delivery models, conditions that co-occur with depression, and survey research, the latter of which includes design, implementation, and analysis.
During her career, her research has focused on the use of extensive, national surveys to help answer questions that relate to patients’ access to health care, rural-urban differences in health and care utilization, as well as behavioral health. She is particularly interested in the use of item-response analysis to understand differential item functioning and response biases to behavioral health measures. Her research also focuses on evaluation design, which includes the use of well-constructed strategies that link interventions directly to measurable outcomes. She uses mixed-methods approaches, including the integration of focus groups, qualitative interviews, and population-level quantitative analysis of surveys and administrative data to more completely answer pertinent and timely questions.
In summary, Dr. Larson works with clinical partners to conduct research aimed at improving the health care delivery system and patient outcomes. She is particularly interested in research that spans traditional health services research models, clinical research and public health.