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NIH Clinical Center Senior Staff

Elizabeth K. Rasch, PT, PhD


A physical therapist for more than 30 years, Dr. Rasch was one of the first clinical specialists in neurology to be board certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. From 2001 to 2007 she was a service fellow in the Office of Analysis and Epidemiology at the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC. During this time, she was actively involved in the Washington Group on Disability Statistics, an international group developing measures of disability suitable for censuses and surveys worldwide. As Chief of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Section in the NIH Rehabilitation Medicine Department, she currently supports projects involving collaborations with major institutions, and has been instrumental in implementing an inter-agency agreement with the Social Security Administration to improve their disability determination process.

Her research is directed toward promoting the health, participation, and full inclusion of people with disabilities in family and community life by informing and impacting health services, programs, and policies. More specifically, she studies the development and consequences of secondary conditions among adults with disabilities, the effects of these conditions on function over time, and the structure of health care services to best address the needs of adults with complex health profiles such as those with chronic conditions and disabilities. Dr. Rasch has co-authored over 40 articles. She is a member of the Editorial Board for the Disability and Health Journal and the Physical Therapy Journal.


Dr. Rasch received faculty awards from the University of Delaware and the University of Southern California, as well as a Graduate School Merit Award from the University of Maryland Baltimore. She was the recipient of a service award and a director's award from the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2009 and 2011, she was honored with a Clinical Center's Director's Award in science from NIH. In 2014, she was part of a group receiving an NIH Office of the Director's Honor Award.

Selected Publications


Gardner E Rasch, Baker LL: Functional Electrical Stimulation of Paralytic Muscle. In: The Dynamics of Human Biological Tissues. Eds: DP Currier, RM Nelson. FA Davis Co, Philadelphia, PA, 182-204, 1992


Rasch EK, Huynh M, Ho P-S, Heuser A, Houtenville A, Chan L: First in line: Prioritizing receipt of Social Security disability benefits based on likelihood of death during adjudication. Medical Care 2014;52: 944–950

Gulley S, Rasch EK, Chan L: Difference, Disability, Disparity: A comparison of health, insurance coverage and health service use on the basis of race/ethnicity among U.S. adults with disabilities, 2006-2008. Medical Care, 2014 Oct; 52 (Suppl 3):S9-S16

Marfeo EE, Ni P, Haley SM, Jette AM, Bogusz K, Meterko M, McDonough CM, Chan L, Brandt DE, Rasch EK: Development of an instrument to measure behavioral health function for work disability: Item pool construction and factor analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013; 94(9):1670-1678

Marfeo EE, Haley SM, Jette AM, Eisen SV, Ni P, Bogusz K, Meterko M, McDonough CM, Chan L, Brandt DE, Rasch EK: A conceptual foundation for measures of physical function and behavioral health function for social security work disability evaluation. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013; 94(9):1645-1652

McDonough CM, Jette AM, Ni P, Bogusz K, Marfeo EE, Brandt DE, Chan L, Meterko M, Haley SM, Rasch EK: Development of a self-report physical function instrument for disability assessment: Item pool construction and factor analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013; 94(9):1653-1660

Chan L, Sandel ME, Jette A, Appelman J, Brandt DE, Cheng P, TeSelle M, Delmonico R, Terdiman J, Rasch E: Does Post-Acute Care Site Matter? A longitudinal study assessing functional recovery after a stroke. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2013 Apr;94(4):622-9

Rasch EK, Gulley S, Chan L: Use of Emergency Departments among Working Age Adults with Disabilities: A problem of access and service needs. Health Services Research 2013 Aug;48(4):1334-58

Brandt DE, Houtenville AJ, Huynh M, Chan L, Rasch EK. Connecting Contemporary Paradigms to Social Security Administration's Disability Evaluation Process. Journal of Disability Policy Studies 22(2):116-128, 2011

Gulley S, Rasch EK, Chan L. The Complex Web of Health: Relationships between Chronic Conditions, Disability, and Health Services. Public Health Reports 126(4):495-507, 2011

Gulley S, Rasch EK, Chan L: If we build it, who will come? Working age adults with chronic health care needs and the medical home. Med Care, 49(2):149-55, 2011

Gulley S, Rasch EK, Chan L: Ongoing coverage for ongoing care: Access, utilization and out of pocket spending burden among uninsured working aged adults with chronic conditions and disabilities in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 101(2):368-75, 2011

Rasch EK, Magder L, Hochberg MC, Magaziner J, Altman BM: Health of Community Dwelling Adults with Mobility Limitations in the United States: Incidence of Secondary Health Conditions. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 89(2):219-30, 2008

Rasch EK, Hochberg MC, Magder L, Magaziner J, Altman BM: Health of Community Dwelling Adults with Mobility Limitations in the United States: Prevalent Health Conditions. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 89(2):210-8, 2008

Rasch EK, Altman BM, Madans JH: The impact of assistive device use on disability measurement. In: International Views on Disability Measures: Moving Toward Comparative Measurement. Research in Social Science and Disability, 4:247-262, 2006

Rasch EK, Hirsch R, Paulose-Ram R, Hochberg MC: Prevalence of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Persons 60 Years of Age and Older in the U.S.: Effect of Different Methods of Case Classification. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 48(4):917-926, 2003

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This page last updated on 05/27/2020

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