The Northwestern University-Patient-centered Intervention and Engagement Training (NU-PATIENT) K12 Scholars Program will promote a rich environment to train tomorrow's leading scholars to conduct high-impact patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). We will teach and enable scholars to conduct comparative effectiveness research (CER) across two critically-important research themes: Patient-centered intervention research and Patient engagement and activation. These unique themes comprise areas that reflect a national training need, and in which NU is particularly strong. NU-PATIENT will provide a new paradigm for fostering the next generation of PCOR Scholars with the range of technical, methodological and strategic skills necessary to break new ground in its impact and application. We propose a CER network, linking methodologists, clinical researchers and stakeholders across Centers of the Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM), its partner departments of Preventive Medicine and Medical Social Sciences, and the Quantitative Methods (Q) Center of the Institute for Policy Research. Our combination of research themes and training resources will be directed toward integrated, high-impact training in PCOR, launching 10 independent scholars over 5 years. Scholars will choose concentrations in Patient-centered Intervention Research (Patient Reported Outcomes, Clinical Trials or Health Systems Change), where we propose a mentoring environment to help scholars fully integrate the patient's perspective into the interpretation of clinical trial data and the implementation of improvements in health care delivery;or 2) Patient Engagement and Activation (Health Literacy and Communication, Risk Analysis and Decision Science, and e-Health / m-Health), where we will provide models of patient and other stakeholder engagement that help people make good decisions with full knowledge of risks and benefits, and fully engage in implementing those care decisions with the help of novel technology. Our emphasis on health literacy and communication helps reduce health disparities. Scholars will choose a concentration area and cross-train in other areas, including didactic training led by IPHAM &Q Centers and the NU Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute: Stakeholder Partnership, Health Equity, and Dissemination Planning, Comparative Effectiveness Methodologies, Engineering and Technology in Health Care, and Pathway to Scientific Independence. We have identified 75 committed faculty whose work centers on PCOR and CER outlined in the proposal and focus on AHRQ priority populations. Scholars'programs will be tailored to include coursework, topical seminars, and experiential (mentored research) training, rotations in ongoing research programs and stakeholder contexts, and career development seminars. This program will be conducted under the leadership of an executive committee of senior PCOR leaders working closely with an external advisory board of scientists and stakeholders, and an evaluation committee which will oversee rigorous evaluation of program quality, scholar experience, and long-term scholar success.
A major goal of healthcare is to get the right treatments to the right people at the right time. It is rarely the case that one option is the clear and correct chice for all;when this is the case, then engineering the healthcare system to ensure this happens has value. When not the case, as is usually true, it is because we have incomplete information about the best of available options, or because patient-specific factors such as their comprehension of options, relative preferences, or culture, must be taken into account. There are many methodological, statistical, technical and humanistic tools available to help compare the relative value of various options, and to engage patients actively in this decision-making. To bring this together with high impact for health care systems and delivery, there is great need for trained scholars in the methods of patient- centered comparative effectiveness research, who can bring these skills to bear when engaging and activating patients to participate in their healthcare and thereby ensure optimization of treatment choices and outcomes.