“When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1999, I didn’t take it seriously, and I did not change my diet or lifestyle,” says JoAnn Thomas of Memphis, Tennessee. “It wasn’t until I had open heart surgery in 2005 that I started taking insulin and became more aware of the ramifications of my disease.”
Thomas serves on the patient advisory council for a PCORI-funded project studying digital communication as a tool to help African Americans with diabetes improve self-care. This project is one of 68 PCORI-funded comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies seeking to assess the effectiveness of telehealth for different populations under various conditions. Often, these studies focus on patients otherwise likely to fall through the cracks of the healthcare system.
PCORI’s research portfolio is testing telehealth across a wide spectrum of conditions, including heart disease and stroke, nutritional and metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, and mental and behavioral health. The studies—tailored to patients’ goals and preferences—most frequently assess patient well-being, health behaviors, and treatment outcomes. Most of these studies compare different approaches to promoting patient or caregiver education, or they gauge how people can best manage their conditions between face-to-face clinician visits.
At the links below are highlights of two studies that showcase the range of issues addressed by PCORI’s telehealth portfolio.