Background: Few comparative effectiveness research (CER) studies have focused on interventions that would improve the health, function and quality of life of persons with disability. Lack of human capital s a significant barrier, as few researchers who focus on persons with disability have CER training. Consensus is needed about the most significant barriers and best strategies to increase research capacity. CER can provide reliable information about treatment options for persons with disability, with the ultimate goal of improved health service provision and outcomes.
Aims : To address this problem, we will conduct a research training and infrastructure development conference to build capacity among researchers interested in CER for persons with disability. Approach: This conference will be a collaborative effort between three National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) Medical Rehabilitation Research Infrastructure (MRRI) centers from Boston, Massachusetts;Dartmouth, New Hampshire;and Galveston, Texas. We will hold a conference in Boston, MA on June 21-22, 2012 which will bring together 100 experts, researchers and key stakeholders to seek consensus on strategies to overcome challenges to conducting disability-related CER. The conference will begin with presentations and panel discussions by leading researchers about key challenges to disability-related CER and the merits of different research designs. This will be followed by small group discussions on strategies to increase CER from the perspective of key stakeholder groups. Finally, a town-hall style meeting will allow all conference participants to reach consensus on the most critical issues that need to be addressed to increase research capacity in this important area. Dissemination: After the conference, we will develop a consensus statement based on the small group discussions and town hall proceedings. Finally, we will work with an instructional media developer to integrate the content and strategies developed from the conference into a multi-module web-based course on disability-related CER that will be widely disseminated and will be free for any interested participant. A committee that includes a cross-section of researchers, health professionals and stakeholders will meet regularly before and after the conference to ensure optimal development of the conference and dissemination activities. Evaluation: For all the conference and training activities, evaluations will be completed on conclusion of the activity and with on-line follow up surveys to assess the impact.

Public Health Relevance

Project Narrative: Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is needed to provide reliable information about treatment options for persons with disability, with the ultimate goal of improving health service provision and health, functional and quality of life outcomes. However, few researchers who focus on persons with disability conduct CER. To increase the capacity of researchers who do disability-related CER, we will hold an in-person conference in Boston in June 2012, and will reach an international audience through online live streaming of the conference and a multi-module training course in disability-related CER that will be based on the conference content.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Conference (R13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHS1-HSR-T (06))
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Iyer, Suchitra
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Boston University
Schools of Public Health
United States
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