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AOA offers guidance to patient-centered research group

April 20, 2013
Participating in the recent PCORI workshop were, back row from left, Eric Orwell, Steven Wolf, Jane Mahoney, Stephanie Anne Studenski, Lisa Alter Wintel, Bonita Beattie, Dianne Vaughn, Chad Boult, Lewis Lispistz, Kara Odom Walker, and Patricia Quigley; and front row from left, Michael Duenas, O.D., Patricia McGaffigan, Melissa Benton, Mary Brennan Taylor, and Jack Guralnik.

Participating in the recent PCORI workshop were, back row from left, Eric Orwell, Steven Wolf, Jane Mahoney, Stephanie Anne Studenski, Lisa Alter Wintel, Bonita Beattie, Dianne Vaughn, Chad Boult, Lewis Lispistz, Kara Odom Walker, and Patricia Quigley; and front row from left, Michael Duenas, O.D., Patricia McGaffigan, Melissa Benton, Mary Brennan Taylor, and Jack Guralnik.

Every day, patients are faced with difficult choices about their health. They may need to decide where to seek vision care, prevention and screening of common eye diseases, and multiple treatments for conditions such as glaucoma. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization created to address gaps in medical evidence to help patients and their caregivers make better-informed decisions.

PCORI funds research that promises to produce reliable information about the effectiveness of various prevention, diagnosis and treatment options. The institute is accomplishing this through a uniquely patient-centered approach that asks patients, stakeholders and the entire health care community to be involved throughout the research process.

Over the past several months, the AOA provided input regarding the National Priorities and Research agenda and met to explore opportunities for optometry in PCORI’s work. Additionally, AOA Associate Director of Health Sciences and Policy Michael Duenas, O.D., was recently selected to participate on a PCORI workgroup focusing on preventing injuries from falls in the elderly.

PCORI has determined further research is needed regarding this subject and the workgroup is charged with selecting the most important research questions that need to be answered regarding falls. Given the impact that visual impairments can have on falls, this is an area of concern for the AOA, and funding of research related to this subject may be available in the future. For more, visit www.pcori.org/funding-opportunities/funding-announcements/preventing-injuries-from-falls-in-the-elderly.

There are many opportunities for all optometrists to participate in PCORI’s work. AOA members may submit specific research questions for PCORI to consider funding, apply to serve on a stakeholder advisory panel, or serve as a reviewer of the research applications. Visit www.pcori.org/get-involved for a full listing.

PCORI is also seeking scientifically rigorous, patient-centered research proposals. The institute plans to fund approximately $300 million in research this year. A summary of funding opportunities is available at www.pcori.org/funding-opportunities.

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