Hatfield Awarded for Best Research Methods Article

Associate professor of health care policy (biostatistics), Laura Hatfield, PhD, wins the 2022 HSR James F. Burgess Methods Article-of-the Year. Hatfield’s paper, "Birds of a feather flock together: comparing controlled pre-post designs,” coauthored by Dr. Carrie Fry, was published in a 2021 issue of Health Services Research. Hatfield will be honored at Academy Health HSR Editorial Board reception held in association with the Academy Health Annual Research Meeting.

Named for the late Professor James F. Burgess, a Senior Associate Editor of HSR, the James F. Burgess Methods Article-of-the-Year Award designates the best research methods article published in the journal, considering research methods articles published in the past year that demonstrate new methods, innovative or novel applications of older methods, or compare or evaluate alternative methods.

Hatfield and Fry’s paper compares methods for conducting causal inference to illuminate their similarities and differences. With careful construction of the target estimates and counterfactual assumptions, they find that a version of comparative interrupted time series (CITS) and a version of difference-in-differences (DID) construct the same counterfactuals and estimators. These methods are flexible enough to accommodate features often found in real data, namely, nonlinearities and divergent pre-period outcome trends.

Hatfield’s research centers on rigorous and practical methods for causal inference in observational settings. This paper is the latest in a series of papers that address longitudinal designs widely used in policy analyses.

Visit the HCP website for more information on Laura Hatfield’s work.