A recently announced $21 million grants program includes a $12.5 million award for a project that will investigate the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams that include a physical therapist (PT) in creating “integrative” pain management options to avoid reliance on opioids.
The grants program, sponsored by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), will support research related to the management of chronic pain, with a goal of reducing opioid use. The largest award was provided to a University of Minnesota project that will evaluate 2 approaches in the treatment of veterans with chronic pain: one approach that pairs a pharmacist and supervising physician to determine a medication plan and create a telemedicine-based care program, and a second approach that establishes a team including a physician, psychologist, and PT to create a plan “that encourages integrative pain management options, such as exercise, in addition to medication,” according to a PCORI news release.
The second grant award, for $8.5 million, will go to a University of Wisconsin-based research team investigating the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment and management of low back pain.
The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) plans to invest $142.5 million to expand its clinical research network—another facet of a broad initiative that includes major grants supporting physical therapy research.
According to a PCORI news release, the money will be used to establish a second-phase expansion of the National Patient Centered Clinical Research Network(PCORnet), a project that links various health data research networks. The funding will be used in part to expand the number of PCORnet participants from 27 to 34, and will include both clinical data and patient-powered research networks.
The 34 PCORnet partner networks encompass more than 150 conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, autism spectrum disorders, heart disease, obesity, Parkinson disease, behavioral health disparities among low-income populations, and health disparities among sexual and gender minorities, all drawn from a wide variety of population groups.
A $30 million, 5-year project will use large-scale clinical trials to create a “cohesive intervention” for falls reduction. The project, announced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), will study over 6,000 adults 75 and older in 10 trial sites across the country.
The study is being led by researchers from the Yale, Harvard, and University of California – Los Angeles medical schools, and will include more than 100 researchers. First-year funding of $7.6 million was awarded on June 1 from the NIH/PCORI Falls Injuries Prevention Partnership.