About 1 in 5 American women report having two or more chronic diseases. (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)
PCORI has funded 78 patient-centered CER studies that focus on conditions that specifically or more often affect women, in addition to a dozen other projects that are focused on engaging more women in the research process. (As of February 2022)
At least 32 PCORI-funded studies relating to women's health specifically focus on reproductive and perinatal health. (As of February 2022)
PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs)
View open and previous PFAs for research studies focused on, or related to women's health.
LOIs Under Review: Partner Targeted PFA
Seeks proposals to address social and clinical determinants of maternal health.
Closed PFA: Improving Postpartum Maternal Outcomes for Populations Experiencing Disparities
Sought proposals to improve early detection of, and timely care for, risk factors for postpartum complications.
Closed PFA: Broad Pragmatic Studies
Included Special Area of Emphasis on optimizing prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage.
Telehealth Strategies for the Delivery of Maternal Health Care: A Rapid Review
PCORI commissioned a rapid review to assess evidence on the effectiveness of telehealth strategies for the delivery of maternal healthcare. Because telemedicine has experienced a swift and widespread adoption in the United States, PCORI sought to understand the evidence base on a compressed timeline in order to inform our future research investments.
The evidence synthesized in this rapid review indicates that telehealth for maternal health care delivery is a promising alternative and/or supplement to usual, in-person care. Equally important are the evidence gaps identified in this review that point us to future research priorities. Full results of this rapid review are also available in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Study Results that Support Better-Informed Decisions
A Risk-Based Approach for Triaging Mammography Examinations
An algorithm based on clinical indication, breast symptoms, breast cancer history, and age successfully maximized cancer detection, according to this PCORI-funded study‘s research team. Reporting in JAMA Network Open, the study found that 12 percent of mammograms with very high or high cancer detection rates accounted for 55 percent of detected cancers, while 44 percent of mammograms with very low cancer detection rate accounted for just 13 percent of detected cancers.
The findings suggest that triaging individuals most likely to have cancer detected during periods of reduced capacity, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could result in detecting the most cancers while performing the fewest examinations compared with a non-risk-based approach.
Individualized Patient Decision Making for Treatment Choices among Minorities with Lupus
Lupus is an illness in which the immune system attacks parts of the body; it primarily affects young women. Lupus can cause a kidney disease called lupus nephritis, a swelling of the kidneys. Lupus nephritis is more common and severe in minority groups.
In this PCORI-funded study, based at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the research team made an online decision aid specifically for women with lupus nephritis to help them make choices about available treatments. They then compared the use of this tool with reading an educational pamphlet about lupus. They found that compared with women who read the pamphlet, women who used the decision aid felt less doubt about their choices
2021 PCORI Virtual Annual Meeting
The 2021 meeting included a breakout session relating to women's health.
Women's Health Study Spotlights
Bringing Postpartum Depression Prevention Closer to Home Federal data show that about
Federal data show that about one in nine expectant mothers in the United States experiences symptoms of postpartum depression. This study is assessing whether a lay home visitor-led prevention program can be as effective as a mental health professional-led program in teaching expectant mothers how to manage their moods and bond with their babies.
Personalizing Breast Cancer Screening
Women have different levels of risk for breast cancer, so the traditional approach of deciding when to have mammograms based mainly on age might not be the best one. This study compares two screening schedules—one based on risk and one on age—to see how well each detects cancer, how women feel about using a risk-based schedule, and whether that approach decreases false alarms that may lead to unneeded tests or treatments.
Improving Outcomes for Low-Income Mothers with Depression
Experiencing depression during or after pregnancy can make it hard for women to take care of themselves and their newborns. This study is comparing two ways to help pregnant women and new mothers get the care they need for their depression symptoms.
Evidence for Decisions from PCORI-Funded Studies
Evidence Updates: Treating Urinary Incontinence in Women without Surgery
Millions of women experience urinary incontinence; however, many women don’t seek treatment because they don’t realize that improvement is possible.
A recent review of research found that several nonsurgical treatments for urinary incontinence can help.
Evidence Visualization: Effect of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training on Urinary Incontinence
This interactive visualization on pelvic floor muscle training, or PFMT, uses data from randomized controlled trials to assess the efficacy of PFMT to treat urinary incontinence, or UI.
It stemmed from a PCORI-funded systematic review on nonsurgical treatments for urinary incontinence. Pelvic floor exercises were also highlighted as an effective nonsurgical treatment for UI in the Evidence Updates.