Public Release: 

PCORI Board approves new research funding opportunity on treatment of anxiety in children

Board also approves awards for evidence dissemination and implementation projects

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors approved a new PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA) that makes up to $40 million available for comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) on treatment options for pediatric anxiety disorders.

The Board authorized the issuance of the new PFA to support research projects that compare medications in combination with psychological treatments for moderate to severe anxiety disorders in children, adolescents and young adults.

Studies funded under this funding announcement will assess available, effective treatment options, including the types of antidepressant medicines known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). The projects will address shortcomings of the existing evidence base, which is limited by previous studies that did not involve enough patients or have long enough timeframes to evaluate the long-term safety of the medications. The findings will enable patients, families, clinicians and other healthcare decision makers to make better-informed choices about what treatments may work best for individual patients' needs and preferences.

"This research will help patients, families and clinicians address some of the difficult questions that arise when deciding how to treat anxiety in children and which medications or treatments to use," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. "We are pleased to issue a funding announcement to tackle this high-priority topic. As always, our goal is to fund research that will make meaningful improvements in patients' and their families' quality of life."

A preannouncement offering preliminary details to prospective applicants is available in the Funding Opportunities section of PCORI's website. As with all PCORI-funded studies, applicants must show how they will meaningfully involve patients, advocates, or other healthcare stakeholders in the design and conduct of their studies.

During its meeting today, the Board also approved $1.4 million to fund two projects on disseminating and implementing useful findings from completed PCORI-funded CER studies. A vital part of PCORI's mission is to promote the uptake of new and useful evidence resulting from studies it has funded. The Board's approval of two dissemination and implementation awards expands that effort. With these awards, PCORI is supporting researchers in taking steps toward bringing the findings of their PCORI-funded CER into broader use.

One of the projects will implement a shared decision making intervention in five hospital emergency departments to help patients who are experiencing chest pain but are not having a heart attack decide with their clinicians on follow- options. The second project will help clinicians identify, evaluate and report suspected child abuse through a tailored clinical-decision-support package embedded in electronic health records in five emergency departments within two health systems.

"As research findings become available from studies that PCORI funds, we are committed to making sure the findings are accessible and used," said Jean Slutsky, PA, MSPH, PCORI's Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer.

The two awards are among nine such projects that PCORI has supported through its Dissemination and Implementation Awards. PCORI recognizes that the generation of evidence can make a difference only if research results reach those who can use the findings in health and healthcare decisions. A list of all projects funded through the program is available on PCORI's website.

To date, PCORI has invested around $2 billion to fund more than 400 patient-centered CER studies, as well as 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 they need to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

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