PCORI explains how it will release comparative-effectiveness findings

Dr. Joe Selby, executive director, PCORI
Dr. Joe Selby, executive director, PCORI

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a not-for-profit organization tasked by Congress to conduct comparative-effectiveness research, finalized the way it plans to make public the findings of the studies it is funding.

The organization plans to release the findings of all studies it funds, including ones that are not completed or others that result in less notable or negative findings. Each study will be released with a final report as well as a scientific and a lay abstract that can be used by clinicians or members of the public to better inform the treatment decisions they make.

The dissemination of the studies will differ from how medical studies are traditionally vetted and published by medical journals.

“The studies that get published in high visibility journals have pretty dramatic findings,” Dr. Joe Selby, PCORI's executive director, told MM&M. “Not every study leads to findings that should change practices and change decisions.”

Still, publication of all studies funded by PCORI can prevent a duplicate study being performed by another organization in the future, Selby added.

While the findings are expected to be looked at by other doctors and researchers, PCORI also expects more patients to seek out study data as they become more engaged in their healthcare decisions.

The studies have to be registered with public registry sites and submitted to ClinicalTrials.gov within one year of the study's completion. PCORI will post the 500-word abstracts and the final peer-reviewed report to its website within 90 days of accepting the final report.

PCORI also on Tuesday announced $64 million in funding for five studies relating to the screening and treatment of diseases like cancer and low back pain.

The organization is mandated by a provision in the Affordable Care Act.