News Release

PCORI board approves $54 million to support comparative effectiveness research

Board approves topics for future funding, including post-traumatic stress disorder and hearing loss

Grant and Award Announcement

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

WASHINGTON, DC (November 20, 2018) -- The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors today approved $54 million to fund 12 new studies comparing how well different treatments work in improving care for a range of conditions that impose high burdens on patients, caregivers and the healthcare system.

"These newest studies will help to answer important individual and system-level treatment questions that matter to patients and those who care for them," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. "These?studies can help to fill major evidence gaps in our knowledge about these conditions and have the potential to change practice and improve patient care and outcomes."

The newly approved awards include:

  • $11.2 million for a University of Pennsylvania study of four different smoking cessation strategies to help underserved patients who undergo lung cancer screenings. One method is the standard approach, which provides referrals to resources such as smoking cessation classes. Another combines this approach with free access to nicotine replacement therapy. The third approach includes all those resources plus an app that reminds patients of the future health and financial benefits of quitting, and the fourth combines all the resources of the third method and a financial incentive for successfully quitting.

  • $10.8 million for a University of Washington study that will compare the outcomes of medical versus surgical treatment for diverticulitis, an inflammation of small pouches that can form in the intestines.

  • $5.9 million for a Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study of ways to improve treatment for adolescents who come to emergency departments with suicidal thoughts but are not at imminent risk of suicide. The project will compare the current standard of inpatient psychiatric treatment with outpatient crisis intervention clinics to determine which treatment setting leads to a lower risk of recurrence of a suicidal event.

  • $2.8 million for a Kaiser Foundation Research Institute study comparing strategies for implementing primary human papilloma virus (HPV) testing for routine cervical cancer screenings. Despite research showing HPV testing detects more diseases than the traditional Pap test, the switch to use this screening method has been limited.

Details of these and the other studies approved by the Board appear on PCORI's website. The new awards were approved pending a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of formal award contracts.

The Board also approved several Dissemination and Implementation awards designed to move evidence from PCORI-funded research studies toward practical use in improving health care and health outcomes. These awards include implementing strategies to educate patients, clinicians and others about research results showing a lack of benefit of daily self-monitoring of blood glucose for people with non-insulin dependent type-2 diabetes; to help institutions optimize computerized topography (CT) radiation doses to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure; and to expand the use of community health workers for people with uncontrolled asthma.

Additionally, the Board approved two topics for future funding announcements: psychological and pharmacological treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder in adults and treatments for age-related hearing loss.

With these latest awards, PCORI has invested $2.4 billion to fund more than 450 patient-centered CER studies and to support other projects designed to enhance CER methods and the infrastructure necessary to conduct CER rigorously and efficiently.



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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