PCORI awards funding to psychologists, solicits comments on Draft Methodology report

Five of the primary investigators to receive the 50 Pilot Projects funding awards are psychologists

Last month the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced the approval of 50 research funding awards, totaling $30 million over two years, through its Pilot Projects Program, designed to address a broad range of questions about methods for engaging patients in the health research and dissemination process. Five of the primary investigators to receive funding are psychologists: APA members Lynne Gauthier (“A Low-Cost Virtual Reality Gaming Platform for Neurorehabilitation of Hemiparesis”) and Paul Pilkonis (“Evaluating PROMIS Instruments and Methods for PCOR: Substance Use Treatment”); and Katherine Bevans (“Development of Methods for Identifying Child and Parent Health Outcomes”), Lynn DeBar (“Effects of a Patient Driven Assessment Process with Complex Pain Patients (PDAP)”), and Dominick Frosch (“Creating a Zone of Openness to Increase Patient-Centered Care”). According to a slide presentation (PDF, 467KB) given by the selection committee at the Board of Governors meeting that showed the breakdown of awards by condition category (see slide 9), mental health was the second most highly represented category after chronic conditions. 

On July 23 the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) released a Draft Methodology report (PDF, 4.1MB) identifying 60 standards for research. The draft report, developed by the Institute’s Methodology Committee whose leadership describes the document as “the necessary catalyst for scientifically rigorous, patient-centered outcomes research that can inform decision-making,” addresses the following types of standards: standards for formulating research questions, patient-centeredness, research prioritization, general and crosscutting methods for all PCOR, causal inference, heterogeneity of treatment effects (HTE), missing data, data networks, adaptive trials, data registries and diagnostic tests. The Institute is accepting comments on the draft through Sept. 14 via an online comment and survey tool

PCORI released its first primary research funding announcements in May for up to $96 million in funding, corresponding to the first four areas of focus in PCORI’s National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda: assessment of prevention, diagnosis and treatment options; improving healthcare systems; communication and dissemination; and addressing disparities. A fifth funding announcement for up to $24 million will be issued during the summer, focused on accelerating patient-centered and methodological research. PCORI is seeking reviewers including scientists and other stakeholders to review the funding applications.