PCORI has identified COVID-19 as an important research topic. Patients, clinicians, and others want to learn: What are effective ways to prevent or reduce the impact of COVID-19, especially on vulnerable populations and the healthcare workforce? To help answer this question, PCORI launched an initiative in 2020 to Strengthen Understanding of COVID-19 Impact and Inform Healthcare Responses. The initiative funded this research project and others.
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?
COVID-19 is a viral disease that can be mild or severe. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, state and local governments have put public health policies in place. For example, some policies require people to wear masks in public. Other policies require people to shelter in place, staying at home and leaving only if necessary.
In this study, the research team is looking at how different COVID-19 policies affect outcomes that are important to patients, such as financial security or mental health. The team also wants to learn how these policies affect access to resources, such as testing for COVID-19. Finally, the team is looking at ways to predict risk of people getting COVID-19.
Who can this research help?
Results may help policy makers when deciding how to address COVID-19.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is enrolling more than 20,000 people in seven states. Participants use a COVID-19 tracking app to report on COVID-19 symptoms each day. They also use the app to answer questions each week about their COVID-19 risk behaviors, such as eating inside restaurants and going to large gatherings. Once a month, people answer questions in the app about their health and their mental and financial well-being. The team is looking at data from electronic health records and insurance claims to learn if patients had COVID-19 testing and healthcare visits related to COVID-19 infections. The team is comparing how policies in different states and counties affect these outcomes.
The research team is also comparing how well different statistical models predict people’s likelihood of getting a severe COVID-19 infection. The team is looking at these outcomes overall and among specific groups, such as African-American and Hispanic patients.
Patients and policy makers are helping to plan and conduct the study.
Research methods at a glance
|Design||Observational: cohort study|
More than 100,000 people using a COVID-19 tracking app in California, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah
Restrictive versus permissive policies for social distancing and reopening schools and businesses; resource allocation that provides access to testing and vaccination and other containment and mitigation strategies
Primary: patient-reported financial insecurity, mental health
Secondary: access to COVID-19 testing, health care, information on COVID-19, and contact tracing; accuracy of algorithm used to predict COVID-19 infection and severe COVID-19 within 6 weeks of symptom onset
Up to 24-month follow-up for primary outcomes