One of PCORI’s goals is to improve the methods that researchers use for patient-centered outcomes research. PCORI funds methods projects like this one to better understand and advance the use of research methods that improve the strength and quality of comparative effectiveness research.
This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
When choosing a treatment, doctors often look at study results that show how well the treatment worked in large groups of people. But many factors can affect how well a treatment works for a specific patient. These factors might include the patient’s sex, age, other health problems they have, or other treatments they have tried in the past. Electronic health records, or EHRs, often store this information. But using EHRs to help choose a treatment is complicated.
In this project, the research team is developing and applying a Bayesian statistical approach to predict aspects of a patient’s health. The team is also using the approach to predict how the patient’s health will change over time and how the patient will respond to treatment. The approach uses both the patient’s own data as well as information about how a treatment has worked for others.
Who can this research help?
Health researchers can use the results of this project to identify how patients’ health and health problem progresses and to test ways to match treatments to patient needs.
What is the research team doing?
In this study, the research team is creating analytic methods and software. They are using the methods and software to summarize important parts of patients’ health histories and provide details that clinicians and patients can use when making decisions about care.
To test their methods, the research team is using data from three different types of research:
- A study of children with pneumonia: The team wants to predict the likely cause of individual children’s pneumonia and which children need antibiotics.
- A study of prostate cancer treatment: The team is using the methods to compare two treatment options, wait-and-see and surgery, to decide the best choice for individual patients.
- A study of depression: The team is using the methods to identify differences in the types and severity of depression to help improve care.
For each type of research, the team is working with providers and patients to focus the research on results that are important to patients.
Research methods at a glance
|Goal||Develop and use statistical models to estimate: an individual’s health state and trajectory; the likelihood that a patient should receive each of the potential interventions; and the effects of the interventions on health outcomes|