Making Health Care Research More Relevant to Patients

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Symposium Draws Nearly 100

Nearly 100 UCSF faculty and staff turned out on Jan. 8 for a Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) symposium hosted by the Comparative Effectiveness Research program at UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

“It can be difficult to wrap your hands around all that CER and PCOR are about, and how to do this kind of research effectively,” says Mike Steinman, MD, director of CTSI’s CER program and organizer of the event. “The presenters did an impressive job of explaining the nuances of this kind of research, and it was encouraging to see the enthusiasm of other researchers at the symposium who are getting interested in this area.”

Eleven special guests from across UCSF and from the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente of Northern California presented on emerging priorities and methods for CER, maximizing opportunities for obtaining funding from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and methods for engaging stakeholders in patient-centered outcomes research. 

The symposium was followed by a discussion group hosted by Kathryn Phillips, PhD, of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. By convening the thought leaders in CER and allowing networking opportunities throughout the day, the symposium furthered its mission of building bridges between investigators and facilitating engagement with CER-related resources at UCSF.

Research that Puts Theory into Practice

Community-engaged research involves research in which community input is integrated in the development of the research question, implementation of the research project, analysis of the results, and/or dissemination of the findings to community stakeholders or end-users.

Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) is expanding this stakeholder-centric principle to studies that occur within health care systems and settings, focusing on the partnership between the researcher and the end user of research: the stakeholder. This latter category can include patients, patient advocates, families, clinicians, health care delivery systems, community-based organizations and more.

While CER by definition is not required to include patient-centered approaches, the strong emphasis on patient-centeredness that is being advanced by the Patient-Center Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is casting a long shadow over how investigators interested in CER are approaching their work.

CTSI’s CER program emphasizes that effective CER often involves partnerships between diverse disciplines, including the partnership between experts in specific areas of medical science and experts in engaging with patients and other stakeholders and facilitating their inclusion as active partners in the research enterprise.

Therefore, the program provides investigators with up-to-date knowledge on scientific advances in the area, an understanding of policy developments and future funding opportunities, and linkages to local resources and collaborators who can support stakeholder engagement in research. Learn more about CER program resources and subscribe to receive regular email updates.

Read the full story on the CTSI website.