WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors today approved $85 million to fund 16 new studies comparing two or more approaches to improve care and outcomes for a range of conditions and problems that impose high burdens on patients, caregivers and the healthcare system, including unsafe opioid use, cancer, depression and stroke.
The funding total includes $5 million for a University of Washington natural experiment study comparing two approaches to reducing unsafe opioid prescribing in the workers' compensation system in two state systems, Ohio and Washington. This is the latest project in PCORI's portfolio of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness (CER) studies on substance use disorders and pain management, including 15 of which focus on opioid use.
The Board also approved funding for several other large trials that aim to provide evidence to help patients, clinicians and others choose the most effective therapies or approaches to care. Many involve pragmatic study designs intended to produce results more broadly applicable to a greater variety of patients and care situations and more quickly taken up in routine clinical practice. These awards include:
- $15.7 million for a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study comparing the current way stroke care is delivered with a redesigned model that better integrates rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities as well as lay health educators who make home visits. A pilot project suggests this new model can decrease hospital length of stay and readmissions, recurrence rates, and lower cost.
- $8.5 million for a University of Washington study that will compare bladder-removal surgery with a treatment that delivers therapeutic agents to the bladder via catheter to treat recurrent bladder cancer, the fourth most common cancer in men and 10th most common in women. Study findings will help patients and clinicians make an informed decision between two treatments.
- $13.3 million for a West Virginia University trial that will compare strategies for primary care providers in rural areas for treating people with major depressive disorders. Some patients will be treated with antidepressant medication alone, others with medication and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) provided remotely, and others with medication plus remote CBT with the help of trained online coaches. The goal is to determine whether telehealth provides effective care options for people in rural areas.
"These new awards will help answer significant questions about treatment and care delivery that are important to patients and those who care for them," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. "They reflect the best ideas for urgently needed research on topics prioritized based on input from patients, caregivers, clinicians and other stakeholders. The results will give healthcare decision makers evidence they need to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions."
Details of all projects approved by the Board can be found on PCORI's website. The new awards were approved pending a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of formal award contracts.
With these latest awards, PCORI has invested $2.4 billion to fund more than 440 patient-centered CER studies and other projects designed to enhance CER methods and the infrastructure necessary to conduct CER rigorously and efficiently.
In other business, the Board also approved the selection of 28 new members to serve on four of PCORI's five multi-stakeholder advisory panels and reappointed five members for an additional term on the Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement. Panelists bring voices from across the healthcare community into PCORI's work in a variety of ways, including helping to refine and prioritize research questions for potential funding and offer feedback on the design of clinical trials.
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.