Better informed health care choices
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The University of Iowa College of Public Health has been selected to receive $640,000 from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study and develop ways to more effectively gather information that patients, families, and physicians can use to make informed health care choices.
The award is part of PCORI’s Pilot Projects Program, which will address a broad range of questions about methods for engaging patients in various aspects of the research and dissemination process. The funding has been approved pending completion of a business review and a formal award agreement with PCORI.
Fred Wolinsky, Ph.D., the John W. Colloton Chair in Health Management and Policy, will lead the two-year research study. The UI project will focus on ways to eliminate the potential bias that may occur when research questionnaires are completed by proxy respondents acting on behalf of older adults who are either unavailable or unable to complete the survey themselves.
According to Wolinsky, in instances where a family member or other proxy answers the questions for the patient, there is a strong likelihood for bias that might considerably alter the research.
“Patient-reported outcomes are used extensively in the field of health care —such as evaluating Medicare plan performance or comparing different treatments for the same condition,” says Wolinsky. “Maximizing their accuracy will give us better research which in turn will lead to more effective health care services.”
PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization whose establishment was authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions.
PCORI is committing $30 million in funding over two years for the pilot projects, which were selected by PCORI's Board of Governors through a competitive, multi-stage review process. Proposals were evaluated for their scientific merit and rigor and fit within eight areas of interest outlined in the pilot projects announcement.
“This process was extremely competitive, and it's quite an achievement to be selected in the first round of awards,” says Corinne Peek-Asa, associate dean for research in the College of Public Health. “This speaks to the excellence of the University of Iowa’s proposal led by Fred Wolinsky. This is an honor for the university and the state of Iowa.”
Awards, approved for research institutions in 24 states and the District of Columbia, include those for projects designed to develop a range of tools and techniques aimed at improving patient-centered care and decision-making; create new patient-centered care measures; and improve delivery of patient-centered counseling and care in various health care settings.