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Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Supports 26 New Studies

Analysis  |  By Scott Mace  
   July 29, 2022

Mental health and cardiac care research get a combined $258 million boost.

New federal funding will support 26 research studies to fill gaps in care and improve decision-making for a range of diagnoses, including asthma, bone fractures, migraines, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and sinus infections.

The $258 million in funding was announced by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The institute also announced an additional $3.9 million for two projects to promote wider and faster clinical adoption of useful findings from completed PCORI clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies.

“Reflecting priorities encapsulated in PCORI’s recently adopted Strategic Plan, today’s funding approvals are an important step in advancing PCORI’s work to generate and disseminate information that improves the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients and all stakeholders make better-informed decisions about their health," said PCORI Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH, said in a press release. “Facing a complex healthcare system and many care options, patients need reliable information to help them understand which care options will work best for them in their particular circumstances.”

Among the mental health studies funded:

  • Nearly $25 million will be devoted to study pharmacologic treatment of bipolar disorder accompanied by a major depressive episode. The study aims to enroll 2,800 adults at 38 academic medical centers and community health sites.
  • A second study will evaluate the benefits and harms of electroconvulsive therapy and intravenous ketamine for treating acute suicidal depression, aiming to enroll 1,500 adults at 10 to 13 sites in the US.
  • A third study aims to increase outpatient addiction treatment for adults with opioid use disorder after being discharged from an emergency department by using text-messaging telehealth services and financial incentives.

PCORI also earmarked $52 million on research to determine the effectiveness of different cardiac healthcare options for adults. One study will compare alternative therapies to restore normal heartbeats suffering both heart failure and reduced ejection fraction, while another will compare blood pressure outcomes among a diverse population with high blood pressure who receive care either through a telehealth platform with a pharmacist or traditional care with a telehealth-enabled blood pressure monitoring platform.

The two CER-based projects will focus on promoting informed decision-making between antibiotics and surgery for patients with appendicitis at 15 hospitals across the country, and one incorporating an mHealth program into routine care at three community mental health agencies to help those with mental illness manage their symptoms.

Scott Mace is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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