Richard L. Skolasky Jr., Sc.D., M.A.

Richard Leroy Skolasky Jr., Sc.D., M.A.

Headshot of Richard L. Skolasky Jr.
  • Director, Spine Outcomes Research Center
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Research Interests

Chronic pain; Functional outcomes of spine surgery; Patient reported outcomes; Health-related quality of life; Health services research; Patient engagement; Patient activation; Psycho-social determinants of health; Health disparities more


Dr. Richard Skolasky is a professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Skolasky conducts independent research on treatments and outcomes for patients with musculoskeletal conditions, focusing on chronic pain, functional outcomes of spine surgery, patient reported outcomes, health-related quality of life, health services, patient engagement/activation and psycho-social determinates of health and health disparities. He has authored over 120 peer reviewed papers and has been funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institutes of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. 

Dr. Skolasky serves as the director of the Spine Outcomes Research Center, which is dedicated to improving patient safety and outcomes by furthering knowledge and increasing the efficiency of spine care. He has worked with faculty members, residents, and medical, graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in applying rigorous research methods to answer questions about musculoskeletal treatment and health. 

An alumnus of the Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, where he obtained his undergraduate degree, Dr. Skolasky received a master’s in psychology from Towson University and an Sc.D. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s health policy and management program.

Dr. Skolasky is a member of several professional societies including the International Society for Quality of Life Research and the North American Spine Society. He is a co-editor-in-chief of Quality of Life Research and statistical editor of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology. more


  • Director, Spine Outcomes Research Center
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • Sc.D.; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland) (2008)
  • M.A.; Towson University (Maryland) (1998)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Skolasky focuses his research on theories and projects that have the potential to improve function and to reduce disability for persons with degenerative spine conditions.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Raad M, Donaldson CJ, El Dafrawy MH, Sciubba DM, Riley LH 3rd, Neuman BJ, Kebaish KM, Skolasky RL. Trends in isolated lumbar spinal stenosis surgery among working US adults aged 40-64 years, 2010-2014. J Neurosurg Spine. 2018 Aug;29(2):169-175. doi: 10.3171/2018.1.SPINE17964. Epub 2018 May 25. PMID: 29799337

Purvis TE, Neuman BJ, Riley LH 3rd, Skolasky RL. Discriminant Ability, Concurrent Validity, and Responsiveness of PROMIS Health Domains Among Patients With Lumbar Degenerative Disease Undergoing Decompression With or Without Arthrodesis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2018 Apr 4. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002661. PMID: 29621093

Skolasky RL, Maggard AM, Wegener ST, Riley LH 3rd. Telephone-Based Intervention to Improve Rehabilitation Engagement After Spinal Stenosis Surgery: A Prospective Lagged Controlled Trial. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2018 Jan 3;100(1):21-30. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.17.00418. PMID: 29298257

Skolasky RL, Scherer EA, Wegener ST, Tosteson TD. Does reduction in sciatica symptoms precede improvement in disability and physical health among those treated surgically for intervertebral disc herniation? Analysis of temporal patterns in data from the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial. Spine J. 2017 Dec 12. pii: S1529-9430(17)31191-9. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2017.11.016. PMID: 29246848

Purvis TE, Neuman BJ, Riley LH 3rd, Skolasky RL. Can Early Patient-reported Outcomes Be Used to Identify Patients at Risk for Poor 1-Year Health Outcomes After Lumbar Laminectomy With Arthrodesis? Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2018 Aug 1;43(15):1067-1073. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002522. PMID: 29215506

Activities & Honors


  • Young Investigator's Award for work on "Variation in Clinical Progressions of HIV-associated Dementia,", XI International Conference on AIDS, 1996


  • Academy Health, 2005
  • American Psychological Association, 2002
  • American Public Health Association, 2005
  • American Statistical Association, 2002
  • Cervical Spine Research Society, 2005
  • North American Spine Society, 2005

Professional Activities

  • Reviewer, Quality of Life Research, 2010
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