News Release

PCORI Board approves $97.9 million to support patient-centered comparative CER

Awards to fund studies of treatments for opioid misuse, multiple sclerosis and sickle cell disease

Grant and Award Announcement

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

WASHINGTON (September 12, 2017) -- The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors today approved $97.9 million to fund 11 studies comparing different approaches to improving care for a range of health conditions that impose high burdens on patients, caregivers and the healthcare system.

Among the projects approved was an $8.8 million study on opioid use among patients with chronic pain, assessing whether cognitive behavioral therapy or pain self-management therapy is more effective at alleviating pain and reducing opioid use. The study will measure the impact of these strategies with patients who have expressed an interest in tapering their opioid use. PCORI has now funded 56 studies of different strategies to manage pain broadly as well as to prevent and treat of opioid misuse.

The Board also approved nearly $38 million to fund five studies to improve treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). These include research on the best strategies to address MS-related fatigue and options to address some patients' increasing severity of MS symptoms, such as numbness and vision problems and clinical strategies to improve patient access to evidence-based treatments. The Board approved an additional $18 million to fund two projects related to treatment for young patients with sickle cell disease who are transitioning to adult care.

Finally, the Board approved $32.8 million for three studies that aim to generate real-world evidence through pragmatic study designs:

  • An $8.5 million project comparing two types of therapy to lessen problems with swallowing in patients undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. One group of patients will proactively receive therapy while undergoing radiation, and the other group will receive therapy only if difficulty with swallowing occurs after radiation.

  • An $10.8 million study involving patients undergoing surgery to fix a broken bone in a limb that will determine which of two commonly available preoperative antiseptic skin solutions is better for reducing hospital-acquired surgical-site infections.

  • A $13.4 million study to compare the effectiveness of two cavity-prevention techniques--a simpler treatment involving fluoride varnish and silver diamine fluoride, and a more-complex treatment involving sealants and fluoride varnish. The study is comparing the two techniques when delivered in school-based programs to Latino and Hispanic children in areas with a scarcity of dental care providers and clinics.

"Like most PCORI-funded studies, these studies are intended to answer important treatment questions that matter to patients and those who care for them," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. "They can fill major gaps in our knowledge and have the potential to change practice and improve patients' health outcomes."

Details of all approved awards appear on PCORI's website. All awards were approved pending a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff, followed by issuance of formal award contracts.

With these latest awards, PCORI's Board has approved $1.9 billion in funding since 2012 for more than 600 patient-centered CER studies and related projects to enhance the methods and infrastructure that support rigorous, efficient patient-centered outcomes research.



The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at

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