The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a Wash. D.C.-based independent nonprofit organization, has approved 46 new proposals, totaling nearly $102 million in support, to fund a wide range of patient-centered clinical comparative effectiveness research (CER) projects.
PCORI has approved $671 million in funding for 360 patient-centered outcomes research projects since it began funding research in 2012. The new awards include support for studies focused on two high-impact topics—obesity and the challenges of making smooth transitions as patients move from hospital to home.
Through its Addressing Disparities program, PCORI will fund two $10 million studies focused on obesity treatment options delivered in primary care settings to underserved populations. One led by Christie Befort, Ph.D., of the University of Kansas Center for Research, will compare new treatment approaches for obesity in rural primary care settings in the Midwest. The other study led by Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Ph.D., of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., will test patient-centered obesity treatment options and programs in clinics that serve high percentages of African-American and low-income individuals throughout Louisiana.
Through its Improving Healthcare Systems program, PCORI has awarded $14.9 million to support a study to identify which combination of transitional care services improve outcomes that matter most to patients and their caregivers as they leave the hospital and return to their homes. Patient characteristics, care settings and other factors will be incorporated in the analysis to determine which transitional care services work best for whom and under what circumstances. The study is led by Mark V. Williams, M.D., of the University of Kentucky.
"This new round of funding not only adds several innovative studies to our growing portfolio of patient-centered outcomes research, but also reflects our progress toward funding bigger, larger studies on specific high-impact, high-burden topics, such as obesity treatment and transitional care," said Joe Selby, M.D., MPH, PCORI executive director. "As we increasingly focus on specific high-priority topics and larger pragmatic studies, we continue to benefit from and seek insightful proposals initiated by both researchers and the broader healthcare community."
The board also approved 43 awards, totaling $67 million, under funding announcements issued in February under PCORI's five broad National Priorities for Research. These studies were selected from 490 submissions that responded fully to PCORI's application criteria. They will compare different options for improving outcomes for conditions such as mental health, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic pain, among others.
These studies also will explore ways to strengthen methods to conduct more rigorous patient-centered CER and improve patients' access to care. Several focus on the needs of particular populations, including children, older adults, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and low-income individuals.
Eight of the awards made through PCORI's Improving CER Methods and Infrastructure Program will support research focused on the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS), a clinical research tool funded by the NIH that consists of reliable and responsive measures of patient-reported health status.
The latest round of studies approved for PCORI funding will be conducted by institutions and organizations in 19 states and the District of Columbia. They were assessed through a competitive review process in which patients, caregivers, clinicians and other healthcare stakeholders joined clinical scientists in evaluating proposals on the basis of scientific merit, how well they engage patients and other stakeholders and their methodological rigor, among other criteria.