Huiwen Xu, PhD, MHA, Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine and Population Health
Research Areas: Aging, Cancer rehabilitation, Long-term Care, Machine
Mentor: James Goodwin, MD
Dr. Xu is a health services researcher with strong interest in aging, cancer rehabilitation, and long-term care. His past research has examined the hospitalization and emergency department (ED) visits of nursing home residents using national Medicare claims and Minimum Data Set data. His long-term career goal is to become a policy-relevant cancer rehabilitation researcher using large observational data.
Dr. Xu’s Pepper Center appointment focuses on improving physical function among older patients with cancer admitting to nursing homes. Functional impairments affect over 40% of hospitalized patients with cancer. After hospital discharge, about 20% of patients received rehabilitation in nursing homes to maintain functional independence. But existing literature did not examine the patterns, predictors, and potential disparities in the rehabilitation therapy received by patients with cancer admitted to nursing homes. More importantly, the benefits of excess rehabilitation on patient-oriented outcomes including physical function remains unknown. As an RL5 scholar, Dr. Xu will evaluate the effects of rehabilitation therapy on physical function, symptoms, survival, community discharge, and healthcare utilization among older patients with cancer admitted to nursing homes. He will leverage multiple data sources including the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER), Medicare claims (inpatient, outpatient, SNF, carrier), Minimum Data Set 3.0, etc.
Prior to joining UTMB, Dr. Xu worked as a Research Assistant Professor for two years at the University of Rochester NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Research Base to design and analyze nationwide Phase III clinical trials in cancer survivorship and geriatric oncology. Dr. Xu has published extensively in leading medical journals including Lancet, JAMA Oncology, JAMDA, and Medical Care. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the AcademyHealth Methods and Data Council and Analytics Core of the Cancer and Aging Research Group.