Helping patients use evidence to make informed healthcare decisions that best match their values and preferences is one of PCORI’s major goals. This is an important focus because even with evidence from comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies, choosing between treatments or other care alternatives is often difficult.
A new initiative provides funding to advance the use of shared decision making, the process by which clinicians and patients consider available treatment options, weighing the risks and benefits in light of the patients’ values and preferences. The goal is to support patients in working with their clinicians to choose a treatment approach that works best for them.
More than 100 randomized clinical trials, including several comparative trials funded by PCORI, have confirmed the benefit of shared decision making in helping patients gain knowledge and confidence in their healthcare choices. However, important barriers remain to implementing shared decision making approaches in clinical practice settings. Clinicians generally lack training in shared decision making, and they often express concern that it will take too much time or that it will interfere with their routine clinical work flow.
Given the importance of shared decision making as a central component of patient-centered care, robust evidence of effectiveness, and documented barriers to widespread use, we are launching a new funding initiative to focus on implementing effective shared decision making approaches in clinical practice settings.
Our authorizing law directs us not only to fund patient-centered research but to see that our research findings are taken up in practice. Through our Dissemination and Implementation program, we already engage in a variety of ways to get our evidence to patients and clinicians who can use it. Our current activities include awards to make the results of PCORI-funded research available and accessible, as well as continuing education courses for clinicians and researchers focused on evidence they can quickly use. The new initiative will promote efforts to bring evidence directly to patients, to support them in making choices with their clinicians about their care.
A new initiative provides funding to advance the use of shared decision making, the process by which clinicians and patients consider available treatment options, weighing the risks and benefits in light of the patients’ values and preferences.
Funds allotted for this initiative are $6.5 million in the initial funding cycle with an anticipated two cycles per year funded at up to of $6.5 million to $8 million per cycle. We’ll consider applications from current PCORI awardees who have completed PCORI-funded research projects, as well as new applicants working with the support of PCORI awardees who have completed PCORI-funded research projects, to implement approaches to shared decision making based on their PCORI results. Project teams can either implement a shared decision making strategy that was found to be effective in a PCORI research award, or incorporate new PCORI CER evidence into an existing, tested shared decision making strategy and then implement the updated shared decision making strategy.
Successful implementation of shared decision making will require buy in and commitment from patients, clinicians, and many other healthcare stakeholders. As such, we encourage applicants to forge strong partnerships among experts in shared decision making, experts in implementation science, and the relevant stakeholder groups, to ensure the successful planning, delivery, and sustainability of the proposed implementation project.
You can find out more about this new initiative here. Letters of Intent will be due this fall.