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June 28, 2012

Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Announces First Round of Grant Recieptents

Biotech Financing
After receiving more than 800 grant applications, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently announced $30 million over two years in funding awards for comparative-effectiveness research. 

PCORI was created to conduct research to provide information about the best available evidence to help patients and their health care providers make more informed decisions.  PCORI’s research is intended to give patients a better understanding of the prevention, treatment and care options available, and the science that supports those options.  Its mission is to fund research that offers patients and caregivers the information they need to make important healthcare decisions.  PCORI focuses on CER that compares options for preventing disease and providing treatment and care by:   

  1.  Identifying national priorities for research.
  2.  Creating a research agenda based on identified priorities.
  3. Funding research consistent with these priorities and agenda.
  4. Providing patients and their caregivers with useful research information.  

Fifty pilot projects “led by creative and innovative researchers” will focus on engaging patients in the health research and dissemination process, PCORI said.  The agency selected the recipients, in part, for their innovative ways to address challenges of improving patient-centered care and decision-making. 

Awards, approved for research institutions in 24 states and the District of Columbia, include those for projects designed to develop a range of tools and techniques aimed at 

  • improving patient-centered care and decision-making;
  • creating a new patient-centered care measures; and
  • improving the delivery of patient-centered counseling and care in various health care settings. 

The Pilot Projects were selected by PCORI‘s Board of Governors through a competitive, multi-stage review process. Proposals were evaluated for their scientific merit and rigor and fit within the eight areas of interest outlined in the pilot projects announcement. All awards have been approved pending completion of a business review and a formal award agreement with PCORI. 

“These projects will improve our understanding of how to conduct research and disseminate research findings in ways that are more responsive to the needs of patients and the health care community,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH.  “We are excited to have approved funding for 50 projects nationwide, led by creative and innovative researchers.  “Their work will help us establish a foundation for patient-centered research that will give patients, caregivers and clinicians the information and tools they need every day.” 

For instance, University of California, Los Angeles, won more than $300,000 to determine how providing transportation to appointments, conducting case management assessments or performing community outreach for low-income patients affects the delivery of medical care, according to the pilot project abstract.  Other examples of grants include: 

  • Addressing Mental Health Needs of Rural African Americans (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences)
  • Promoting Patient-Centered Counseling to Reduce Inappropriate Diagnostic Tests (University of California, Davis)
  • Development and Pilot of Three Patient Decision Aids for Implanted Defibrillators (University of Colorado School of Medicine)
  • Integrating Patient-Centered Outcomes in Arthritis Clinical Care (Johns Hopkins University) 

The University of California, Davis, won almost $700,000 to enhance physicians' patient-centered counseling skills to reduce inappropriate or unnecessary care, while the Palo Alto (Calif.) Medical Foundation Research Institute collected roughly $675,000 to test interventions designed to improve patient-centered communication and make shared decision-making routine among providers. Last month, the research instate found that many patients surrender their authority to physicians because they fear being labeled "difficult." According to the study, 48 Bay Area patients said they held back from challenging their physicians or asking questions, worried that such actions would lead to inferior care or a damaged relationship. 

“The impressive volume of high-quality funding applications we received persuaded us to expand the program beyond its original scope to ensure we are capturing as much valuable information as possible to support our patient-centered research efforts,” said PCORI Board of Governors member Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, who led the Pilot Projects Program effort. “The Pilot Projects will allow PCORI to learn more about evidence-based methods and strategies, with an emphasis on effectively involving patients in the entire research process, from the selection of research topics to the dissemination of results.”

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