WASHINGTON, DC—The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors adopted a new Research Agenda at its meeting on March 8, taking another important step in outlining how PCORI will focus its funding of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and other activities in the years ahead.

The Research Agenda will inform development of a broad portfolio of patient-centered CER that addresses the unmet information and evidence needs of patients, caregivers, clinicians, purchasers, payers, researchers, and other healthcare decision makers in making personalized health and healthcare choices across a wide range of conditions and treatments.

It consists of the following six statements that describe PCORI’s CER activities as a whole, including complementary, broad areas of research.

Research Agenda | Fund comparative clinical effectiveness research that

Fills patient- and stakeholder-prioritized evidence gaps and is representative and inclusive of diverse and underrepresented patient populations and settings
Advances the achievement of health equity and elimination of disparities with an emphasis on overcoming the effects on health and healthcare outcomes of racism, discrimination, and bias
Builds the evidence base for emerging interventions by leveraging the full range of data resources and partnerships
Examines the diverse burdens and clinical and economic impacts important to patients and other stakeholders
Focuses on health promotion and illness prevention by addressing health drivers that occur where people live, work, learn, and play
Integrates implementation science and advances approaches for communicating evidence so the public can access, understand, and act on research findings

The Research Agenda provides the framework for advancing PCORI’s National Priorities for Health, through CER. Adopted by the Board in October 2021, after extensive public feedback, the National Priorities for Health reflect five broad, ambitious goals to guide PCORI’s work in the years ahead.

“With the adoption of the Research Agenda along with the overarching National Priorities for Health, PCORI is charting a path that will ensure continued fulfillment of its critical mission,” said PCORI Board Chairperson Christine Goertz, Ph.D. “The Research Agenda will guide PCORI in generating evidence that provides patients, caregivers, clinicians, payers, purchasers, policy makers, and the public with practical, trustworthy information to support informed decisions about health and health care that reflect desired health outcomes.”

The adopted Research Agenda responds to extensive input from patients and stakeholders encompassing numerous perspectives and experiences in the US healthcare ecosystem. PCORI’s Board released a proposed version of the Research Agenda for public comment in December 2021. Several of the statements within the proposed Research Agenda were modified in the version adopted based on feedback and public comments gathered.

With the adoption of the Research Agenda along with the overarching National Priorities for Health, PCORI is charting a path that will ensure continued fulfillment of its critical mission.

Christine Goertz, Ph.D. PCORI Board Chairperson

“Building on PCORI’s accomplishments in its first decade to advance patient-centered outcomes research, we look forward to addressing opportunities and priorities shared with PCORI by patients and healthcare decisionmakers from across the entire health and healthcare system,” said PCORI Executive Director Nakela Cook, M.D., M.P.H. “The extensive input from the healthcare community enabled us to refine the Research Agenda so that it will effectively guide our future funding and enable us to address many unmet needs.”

The Research Agenda is intended to describe and guide the full portfolio of CER activities for PCORI and is not intended to list individual research topics or projects. Rather, it will inform PCORI’s considerations and prioritization of CER opportunities important for developing a more specific Research Project Agenda.

The Research Project Agenda will identify specific topics to pursue, through the Research Agenda, to advance the National Priorities for Health. This includes topics mandated in the 2019 legislation that reauthorized PCORI’s funding, namely intellectual and developmental disabilities and maternal morbidity and mortality, as well as other research areas.

Additionally, the Research Project Agenda will help PCORI implement enhanced authority under its reauthorizing law to consider the full range of outcomes in the research it funds, including the potential burdens and economic impacts of the healthcare services studied in its funded projects. The Research Project Agenda will be continuously updated to maintain relevance to evidence needs through ongoing stakeholder engagement.

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About PCORI

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is the nation’s leading funder of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). By comparing two or more health or healthcare approaches, CER generates evidence that helps people make better-informed decisions and improves healthcare delivery and outcomes. PCORI takes a holistic approach to its work, ensuring that patients and other health decision makers are engaged as partners throughout the research process, supporting dissemination and implementation of results in practice and strengthening clinical research infrastructure to advance patient-centered CER. PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress.

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