News Release 

PCORI Board approves $150 million to fund large-scale patient-centered clinical studies

Also approves $16.4 million for new studies on maternal depression, HIV prevention, prostate cancer and care transitions

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

WASHINGTON (March 3, 2020) -- The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors at its March 2 meeting approved up to $195 million for upcoming funding opportunities and $16 million for research projects comparing the most effective ways to treat a range of health conditions that impose high burdens on patients, their families and the health care system.

New Funding Opportunities

The Board committed up to $150 million for a new funding opportunity to support large comparative effectiveness research studies that will examine patient-centered outcomes and stakeholder-driven questions in real-world clinical settings. PCORI will invite proposals for studies addressing critically important research questions of large scale and scope through the new two-part award program. This program anticipates that the size and complexity of the research projects will require an initial period of funding support for study refinement, stakeholder engagement, feasibility testing and infrastructure establishment. If initial activities meet rigorous milestones and criteria, conduct of the full-scale randomized trial can then proceed under a second phase of funding without interruption.

The Board authorized two additional upcoming funding opportunities. One will make up to $25 million available to support research on the treatment of rare diseases using the resource of PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. The other will provide up to $20 million to fund studies comparing older and newer medications as second-line treatments for type 2 diabetes among people with moderate cardiovascular risk.

New Research Awards

The Board also approved $4.2 million for a Weill Medical College of Cornell University project testing strategies to improve follow-up care for people with heart failure after being discharged from the hospital. The study will compare telemedicine to provide follow-up care at home to phone calls to assess patients' health and connect them to social services as needed. Other approved projects include:

  • $4.2 million for a Rutgers University project to compare three different programs to improve access to care for women with perinatal depression: training for obstetric providers, real-time support with psychiatric consultation or providing resources and referrals to mental health providers.
  • $4.2 million for a Weill Medical College of Cornell University project that examines whether an alternative method of prostate biopsy could lead to fewer post-procedure infections, comparable pain and better cancer detection than the current, more common biopsy procedure.
  • $3.8 million for a Public Health Foundation Enterprise study to compare two mobile health strategies (two-way text messaging with a navigator or an interactive mobile app) to determine which is more effective at improving adherence to a pre-exposure HIV medication for vulnerable populations experiencing health disparities.

Implementation Project Awards

Additionally, the Board approved $3.5 million for three projects for PCORI's Dissemination and Implementation portfolio, which promotes the uptake of PCORI-funded research findings into practice. A University of Rochester project will integrate an outpatient, team-based palliative care program into standard practice for managing Parkinson's disease across a network of medical centers. A Massachusetts General Hospital project will incorporate decision aids into routine orthopedic practice to help patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis and low back pain make an informed decision about their treatment options. A University of Colorado project will expand delivery of a tested in-school intervention shown to improve executive functioning for children with ADHD and autism spectrum disorder symptoms.

"We're pleased to be able to continue our current work of supporting stakeholder-driven research, as well as supporting new initiatives that will help to generate the evidence patients and clinicians need," said PCORI Interim Executive Director Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.

Details of all projects approved for funding by the Board are on PCORI's website. All were approved pending a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of formal award contracts.

With these latest awards, PCORI has invested $2.6 billion to fund more than 760 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.

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About PCORI

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 health care decisions. PCORI is committed to continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

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