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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 17, 2013) – The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) today approved $23.2 million to fund eight studies of ways to decrease rates of uncontrolled asthma among African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos – the populations most seriously affected by this condition – and improve their quality of life. The awards were among 82 totaling $191 million approved by PCORI's Board of Governors during a special meeting today.

These eight patient-centered comparative effectiveness research projects will evaluate a range of multipronged approaches to reduce poor health and other complications among children and adults with asthma and improve both patients’ and their healthcare providers’ adherence to treatment guidelines. Interventions being studied include visits to patients’ homes by community health workers, stress management techniques for parents of children with asthma, school-based treatment, and Web-based patient portals.

The research not only will measure the interventions’ effects on asthma symptoms but also additional outcomes that patients and families have flagged as of concern to them, such as missed days of school or work and feeling stress.

The studies are led by teams at:

  • San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego
  • Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Children's Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City
  • Baylor College of Medicine, Houston
  • Seattle-King County Public Health Department, Seattle

Details of the projects can be found on PCORI’s website.

"Through these awards, we’re supporting efforts to discover the most effective ways to bring asthma under control in populations that are suffering the most,” said Romana Hasnain-Wynia, MS, PhD, director of PCORI’s Addressing Disparities Program. “Compared to other populations in the United States, racial and ethnic minorities experience the highest rates of uncontrolled asthma and its ill effects, which include missed school and work days and anxious trips to the emergency department.”

Approximately 4.5 million African Americans and 3.6 million Hispanics and Latinos/Latinas in the United States had asthma in 2010. The impact is especially pronounced in children within these populations, who have a lower likelihood of being prescribed asthma treatment and to follow it when they are.

Not all asthma care may be optimal for all populations, and treatments beneficial to some groups may be less beneficial to others. Moreover, much research shows that disparities in health and health care have multiple causes, including social and economic factors as well as health-related issues.

All of the awards are approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and completion of a formal award contract.



The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

For Media Inquiries Only, Contact:

Christine Stencel

  • Associate Director of Media Relations

[email protected]

Sofia Kosmetatos

  • Senior Media Relations Specialist

[email protected]

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