This collection of papers, articles, and commentaries provides insights into PCORI-funded work to advance patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research. PCORI is committed to the principles of transparency and openness in all of our work. We encourage authors to make their publications available without a subscription.
PCORI in the Literature
Comparing Ways to Treat Back Pain Using a Stratified Risk Approach
A PCORI-funded study aimed to test whether a risk-stratified approach to treatment in primary care settings would result in lower rates of patients with acute back pain developing chronic back pain. To assess chronic pain risk, the research team at the University of Pittsburgh asked patients questions about how they were coping with back pain and assigned them to either low-, medium-, or high-risk groups. Patients who scored high risk were placed into two groups: usual care or usual care plus psychologically informed physical therapy, which also teaches patients coping skills to manage back pain. As reported in EClinicalMedicine, among patients at high risk, 50 percent developed chronic back pain regardless of type of care, while 20 percent of low-risk and 33 percent of medium-risk patients developed chronic low back pain.
Comparing Surgical Treatments for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy, or CSM, occurs when the spinal cord becomes compressed as people age and is the most common cause of spinal cord dysfunction worldwide. A PCORI-funded study -- conducted by a team at the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts -- examined patient-reported outcomes one year after surgery among patients who received any of the three common surgical treatments for CSM. As reported in JAMA, compared with the other two types of surgery, patients with dorsal laminoplasty had better physical function and fewer problems from surgery. They were also less likely to report using opioids for pain, having imaging tests, and having ongoing physical therapy.