PCORI Board to seek input on priorities for health research funding

Public feedback on the definition of “patient-centered outcomes research” will help determine the range of research the Institute will fund
The Board of Governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, has held three more meetings since its first meeting last fall that was reported on in the December issue of the Psychological Science Agenda. The Institute’s 19.3 million dollar budget for the year 2011, with $9.6 million carried over from 2010, includes $1.6 million for research and $7 million for grantmaking capacity. The Board is working to develop a “tier one” grant process, focusing on innovation grants that will define barriers to efficient clinical research and that will explore novel clinical research infrastructures, selective statistical and clinical trial methodology, and novel approaches to patient engagement. A list of current “methodology gaps” that the PCORI Methodology Committee hopes will be addressed includes synthesizing evidence for complex social interactions and effecting behavior change in healthcare systems.
The Methodology Committee is also working to develop a definition for “patient-centered outcomes research,” and the Board intends to gather input from the public on this working definition in mid-July via an online feedback form. The form will include questions such as whether the definition is broad enough to include the range of research that PCORI should fund. The working definition presented (PDF, 1.86MB) at the meeting in May did not mention behavioral research, unlike three of the four draft definitions presented (PDF, 1.21MB) in their March meeting update, which mentioned behavioral determinants of health, research on intervention targeted to behavioral characteristics and preferences, and the inclusion of behavioral components in setting research priorities. The call for feedback will be announced to the PCORI mailing list soon. (Email to subscribe to the list). APA encourages expert scientists to submit ideas so that relevant behavioral research topics will be considered, and to share your feedback with APA’s Science GRO by emailing Christine Jamieson. Check back for updates in SPIN and PSA on this and other opportunities for input.