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Health Services Research


Health Services Research (HSR) is a complex and difficult to comprehend research field in health science. The definition of HSR is constantly evolving and has been formulated by a number of thinkers and organisations. 

A current standard definition of HSR is summarized in the contract final report “An Organizational Guide to Building Health Services Research Capacity”, which has been adopted by the “Health Services Research into European Policy and Practice” programme of the European commission (1-3):

Health services research is a “multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately, our health and well-being.”

Applied health services research provides data, evidence, and tools to make health care affordable, safe, effective, equitable, accessible, and patient-centered. For example, products stemming from health services research serve to enable providers and patients to make better decisions. They also can be used to design health care benefits and inform policy.

Health services researchers come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. The workforce includes an array of professionals and disciplinary perspectives, including fields such as:

  • Medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and allied health
  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Engineering
  • Health care policy, research, administration, and management


Health Services Research in anthroposophic medicine

A comprehensive list of partially high ranking publications exists, which are countable for HSR regarding anthroposophic medicine. Publications range from reports on retrospective database research, prospective studies and reviews. Many of them have been generated by anthroposophic institutions or in cooperation with them. Additional papers exist, which have been published by institutions outside the anthroposophic community, but also incorporate information on HSR concerning anthroposophic life-style and anthroposophic medicine. 

Providing a better overview, those references are given in two separated lists below.

Read more ... Exemplary literature

June 2017     

Dr. rer. nat. Daniel Krüerke
PD Dr. phil II (P) Ana Paula Simões-Wüst
Research Institute, Klinik Arlesheim AG, Swizerland

Download PDF References


(1) Contract Final Report: An Organizational Guide to Building Health Services Research Capacity; American Institutes for Research; Washington, DC Contract No. 232-02-0082; AHRQ Publication No. 11(12)-0095-EF, October 2011

(2) Full report: Health Services Research into European Policy and Practice Policy, 2011; (accessed 19.6.2017)

(3) Lohr K, Steinwachs D. Health services research: An evolving definition of the field. Health Services Research, 2002; 37(1):15-17.