Mizzou

Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research


Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is MU PCOR? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has awarded MU a 5-year grant to develop capacity to conduct patient centered outcomes research. The Center is preparing investigators to carry out outcomes research and to compete for funding from the national Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a relatively new source of major funding. The MU Center consists of 3 major projects, mentoring activities, formal and informal research training, and support for small studies that can provide pilot work for larger projects.
  2. What is PCOR? PCOR stands for Patient Centered Outcomes Research. It is focused on answering questions of key interest to patients. PCORI defines patient-centered outcomes research:

    Patient-Centered Outcomes Research helps patients and their caregivers communicate and make informed health care decisions, allowing their voices to be heard in assessing the value of and choosing between health care options. This research is aimed at identifying information needed to help patients answer questions such as:

    “Given my personal characteristics, conditions and preferences, what should I expect will happen to me?”

    “What are my treatment options and what are the potential benefits and harms of those options?”

    “What can I do to improve the outcomes that are most important to me?”

    “How can clinicians and the care delivery systems they work in help me make the best decisions about my health and healthcare?” http://www.pcori.org/research-we-support/pcor/

  3. How does PCOR research help answer these questions? Unlike traditional clinical trials research, PCOR research is focused on what works best in everyday clinical practice. This focus on clinical effectiveness allows investigators to address a wide range of questions such as:
    • Assessment of alternative prevention, diagnostic and treatment options;
    • Best ways to communicate and disseminate information to enhance patient and provider decision making;
    • Evaluating alternative ways of communicating complex medical care information in order to enhance patient decision making regarding their care;
    • Conducting large pragmatic studies to evaluate patient centered outcomes;
    • Improving methods for conducting patient centered care and outcome studies;

    More information on current PCORI funding opportunities can be found at: http://www.pcori.org/funding-opportunities/funding-center/

  4. What types of studies are currently funded by PCORI? The PCORI website has a list of currently funded projects (http://pfaawards.pcori.org/). Several project titles are listed below.
    • Effectiveness of Collaborative Goal-Setting Versus IMPaCT Community Health Worker Support for Improving Chronic Disease Outcomes
    • Demonstrating Respect and Acceptable Consent Strategies: What Matters to Patients in PCOR?
    • Patient-Centered Home Exercise Program for Peripheral Artery Disease
    • A Comparison of Treatment Methods for Patients Following Total Knee Replacement
    • Calmer Life: Treating Worry among Older Adults in Underserved, Low-Income, Minority Communities
    • Puget Sound Asthma Coalition: A Community, Clinical, and Academic Partnership

  5. What is the purpose of the MU PCOR Capacity Building grant? This 5-year grant is intended to increase the PCOR research capacity of the MU research community. It has 4 major aims:
    • Aim 1. To develop MU’s capabilities in patient-centered outcomes research by mentoring investigators, supporting pilot studies, providing research training, and hiring additional investigators.
    • Aim 2. To build infrastructure, tools, and expertise that enhance investigators’ capacity to conduct PCOR.
    • Aim 2a. To increase capacity to use large data sets for studying comparative treatment effectiveness.
    • Aim 2b. To increase capacity for implementing and disseminating practice-changing interventions that support care transitions
    • Aim 3. To engage stakeholders using focus groups, a patient-advisory panel, and a novel platform for social-networking and tailored-messaging that facilitates information gathering, feedback from participants to investigators, and dissemination.
    • Aim 4. To perform formative and impact evaluations of all Center activities and projects that allow for mid-course corrections on projects and infrastructure components.
    • The unifying theme is a broad understanding of care transitions to include not only physical transitions (for example, hospital to home) but also major decision points in the care of chronic conditions, such as going on dialysis or starting insulin treatment. Two central strategies of our efforts include working with large data sets and developing expertise in practice-changing interventions. We are also collaborating with investigators at the School of Journalism on developing patient and stakeholder engagement and dissemination strategies.

  6. What strategies are being used to build PCOR capacity?
    • Mentoring and consultation: Increasing availability of experienced PCOR researchers
    • Knowledge and skill development: Providing seminars, webinars and other learning opportunities
    • Collaboration: Developing collaborative relationships within and outside MU
    • University commitment to participate: Providing opportunities for fiscal units to support projects
    • Build sustainable digital infrastructure: Registries and database resources
    • Develop practice-change facilitation capacity: Expand PCOR knowledge, skills and collaboration
    • Conduct patient-centered outcomes research projects:
      Project 1: Evaluate outcomes of endovascular and open vascular surgery using large data sets
      Project 2: Implement and evaluate support and care coordination in the SNF-to-home transition
      Project 3: Improve opioid prescribing and chronic pain care in primary care settings

  7. Who can participate in MU PCOR, and what are their responsibilities? All MU faculty members and researchers with an interest in conducting PCOR are eligible to participate in any of the Center’s activities. Because we are particularly interested in working with researchers who wish to make PCOR a core part of their research focus, participants are expected to participate in and develop academic and research products including PCOR research training, pilot studies, grant development, mock reviews, posters, presentations and papers. As appropriate, participants will be paired with a research mentor.

  8. What are the responsibilities of MU PCOR Participants’ Department Chairs or Division Directors? It is recognized that developing research proposals and conducting research projects takes both time and funding support. For pilot studies funded by MU PCOR, the Center can provide for support for things such as study design, data collection, analysis, and consultation. Because the Center may not pay for investigators’ time to participate in grant-funded pilot studies, participants’ Department Chairs and/or Division Directors will be responsible for appropriate release time for the faculty member to conduct the pilot study. However, we are strongly supportive of creating explicit outcome expectations in return for protected time.

  9. Who should I contact to learn more about MU PCOR and participating in Center activities? The contact information for several key personnel is listed below.

  10. Who is funding PCOR research? The Federal government is providing major funding to support PCOR research through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). PCORI is expected to receive an estimated $3.5 billion from the trust fund to fund patient-centered outcomes research through September 30, 2019, the date through which the Act authorizes it to remain in operation. More information about PCORI funding can be found at: http://www.pcori.org/about-us/how-were-funded/
  11. PCOR may also be funded by NIH or by several foundations. The table below summarizes recent open PCORI funding announcements.

    Announcement

    Deadlines

    Cycle

    Maximum Project Period

    Funds Available Up To

    Large Pragmatic Studies to Evaluate Patient-Centered Outcomes

    Letter of Intent:10/01/2014
    Application: 02/03/2015

    Winter 2015

    Five Years

    $90 Million

    Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options

    Letter of Intent: 9/5/2014
    Application: 11/4/2014

    Fall 2014

    Three Years

    $32 Million

    Improving Healthcare Systems

    Letter of Intent: 9/5/2014
    Application: 11/4/2014

    Fall 2014

    Three Years

    $16 Million

    Communication and Dissemination Research

    Letter of Intent: 9/5/2014
    Application: 11/4/2014

    Fall 2014

    Three Years

    $8 Million

    Addressing Disparities

    Letter of Intent: 9/5/2014
    Application: 11/4/2014

    Fall 2014

    Three Years

    $8 Million

    Improving Methods for Conducting Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

    Letter of Intent: 9/5/2014
    Application: 11/4/2014

    Fall 2014

    Three Years

    $12 Million

    Large Pragmatic Studies to Evaluate Patient-Centered Outcomes

    Letter of Intent: 6/27/2014
    Application (if invited to apply): 11/4/2014

    Fall 2014

    Five Years

    $90 Million