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New Research Funding Opportunities for Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently announced the availability of $120 million in grant funding for comparative clinical effectiveness research in 2012.

"Today marks a major milestone in our work as we build a portfolio of patient-centered research that will provide patients and those who care for them better information about health care decisions they face," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH.

Created through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, PCORI is an independent, nonprofit health research organization.

Researchers interested in PCORI funding should review the newly adopted PCORI Research Agenda. A significant portion of PCORI's funding is dedicated to supporting research about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. This funding opportunity is open to occupational therapy researchers who are comparing outcomes of prevention programs, treatments and models of service delivery. PCORI is interested in clinical effectiveness, which compares the effectiveness and safety of preventive, diagnostic, and treatment options to create a foundation of information for personalized decision making. By emphasizing personalized decision making, PCORI acknowledges the importance of patient preferences, including those related to demography, culture, comorbidity, and socioeconomic status.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) submitted comments on PCORI's draft of its research agenda in early 2012, emphasizing the need to consider rehabilitation therapies including occupational therapy.

The PCORI Research Agenda states, "Topics are not limited to medical or surgical therapy and may include a range of strategies including self-care" (p.14).

PCORI is also interested in rare diseases and studies conducted in typical clinical populations. They acknowledge that a variety of study designs and approaches may contribute valid new knowledge about the comparative clinical effectiveness of specific strategies. PCORI cites a particular interest in comparisons for which new knowledge could address individual differences in patient values and preferences and support shared decision making.  

Other categories of the PCORI Research Agenda that may be of interest to occupational therapy researchers are: improving healthcare systems, communication and dissemination of Research, addressing disparities, and accelerating PCORI studies and methodological research.

For more information, see the PCORI Web site.