The use of qualitative and mixed methods research can enable more robust capture and understanding of information from patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other stakeholders in research, thereby improving the strength, quality, and relevance of findings. These methods are particularly interesting in patient-centered outcomes research because, as the authors write, “qualitative data have a central role in understanding the human experience.”
The authors detail the iterative process for creating these standards. This process included surveying the range of key methodological issues and potential standards, narrowing inclusion to standards deemed most important, drafting preliminary standards, soliciting feedback from a content expert panel and the broader public, and using this feedback to develop final standards for review and adoption by PCORI’s Board of Governors in February 2019. Moreover, an example is provided showing how to apply these standards in the design of a patient-centered outcomes research application.
Developing and improving the science and methods of patient-centered outcomes research is a central part of PCORI’s work. Better methods will produce more valid, trustworthy, and useful information that will lead to better healthcare decisions and, ultimately, to improved patient outcomes.