The independent, nonprofit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has approved a total of $97.3 million in new funding for 53 comparative effectiveness research (CER) studies designed to answer questions important to patients and those who care for them. It also has approved $93.5 million to build and expand the individual research data networks that will form PCORnet, a new, national, patient-centered clinical research network to facilitate CER.
The awards will support research aimed at providing patients, their families and other healthcare stakeholders more information about the effectiveness of various healthcare options, so they can make better-informed decisions about their care.
Studies approved include efforts to improve care for heart disease, cancer, obesity, chronic pain, diabetes, respiratory disorders and mental health disorders. Several projects will explore ways to support patient and family caregiver decision-making, reduce health disparities and improve healthcare delivery systems.
Eight of the awards for CER studies will fund studies of multipronged strategies to reduce persistent disparities in uncontrolled asthma among African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos, the population groups at greatest risk for developing this common respiratory disease. These awards were made through PCORI's first call for applications on a specific high-priority research topic. PCORI specifically called for proposals on this topic because not all treatment options work well for all populations and asthma has many triggers, including environmental and social factors not typically addressed by medical providers. The eight projects were chosen from a pool of 74 applications.
PCORI selected the other 45 CER studies for funding from a total of 461 submissions to broad funding announcements issued under its five National Priorities for Research in August. These and the asthma awards will go to 65 institutions in 23 states as well as Washington, D.C., and Quebec.
"We are very pleased to add this latest round of projects to our growing portfolio of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research, which will contribute much-needed insights about the benefits and risks of a range of medical interventions and approaches to healthcare delivery," said Joe Selby, M.D., MPH, PCORI executive director. "Each project will engage patients and other stakeholders in meaningful ways with researchers to tackle critical health problems. We look forward to following and learning from the studies' progress."
Since it began funding patient-centered outcomes research in 2012, PCORI has awarded $464.4 million in research support for a total of 279 projects.
The projects approved were selected through a competitive review process in which patients, caregivers and other stakeholders joined 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.