Public Release: 

PCORI Board approves $20 million to support research on mental health, obesity

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

WASHINGTON, DC (December 11, 2018) -- The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors today approved $20 million to fund two new studies comparing how well different treatments work in improving care for conditions that impose high burdens on patients, caregivers and the healthcare system. The newly approved awards include:

  • $12.7 million for a study by researchers in Chapel Hill, N.C., Chicago, and Toronto, Canada, of the effectiveness of different strategies to treat anxiety and depression in expectant and new mothers. The study will examine four different methods of providing treatment, in-person sessions with either a specialist provider or nurse, or the same sessions delivered via telemedicine.
  • $7 million for a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study comparing different approaches to preventing obesity in young children. Caregivers, bringing their children to scheduled pediatric visits during the first two years of the child's life, will receive either health literacy education delivered by trained providers, or the same training enhanced with health information technology to support healthy behavior between clinic visits. The study will recruit children and families through PCORnet, the PCORI-funded National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, as well as other sites.

"We're excited about the important patient-centered questions that these studies aim to answer," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. "These projects are just the latest designed to provide practical information that patients, clinicians and other stakeholders can use to make better-informed healthcare decisions."

Complete details of these 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.

With these latest awards, PCORI has invested $2.4 billion to fund more than 452 patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (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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