Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) seeks to identify the best treatments for an individual in light of their personal characteristics, preferences, conditions, and role of the healthcare system. In contrast, most studies of treatment effectiveness assess only average differences and do not fully consider the individual;designing and appropriately analyzing effective PCOR studies necessitates a substantially greater capacity in sufficiently trained investigators. Our program, Expanding National Capacity in PCOR through Training (ENACT), will specifically address these critical national needs. To yield a maximum impact on building the workforce, our researcher community will be investigators from minority serving institutions (MSIs) who typically do not have training, expertise, or mentorship in PCOR but are focused on pursuing PCOR. As a mechanism to reach this community, we will partner with members of the NIH-funded Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMIs) Program to implement training at six MSIs. ENACT will use the experience and expertise in PCOR research and education at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), in close partnership with the MSIs, to will offer online training in basic and advanced PCOR. We will partner with Acatar, which is a subsidiary of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Acatar has developed and successfully implemented an online environment that supports communication and interaction as if students and faculty were in a classroom together (i.e. with audio and streaming video, microphones and cameras the instructor can control, and ability for students to raise their hand or work in multiple small groups concurrently as part of a larger group). The online environment will also include asynchronous activities with planned and unplanned interactions between peers, scientists, methodologists, and biostatisticians. For experiential training, we will select five fellows from the MSIs to participate in a 1-year fellowship. The fellowship will include a 6-month phase to develop a pilot research project, 1-3 months of intensive research and training in Pittsburgh, where they will complete their research, and a follow-up period of 3-5 months, where fellows will use findings to draft a career development or other PCOR grant proposal. To optimally leverage the training and experience gained, we will facilitate and support networking and mentoring relationships between investigators and methodologists at Pitt and other institutions. In addition, we will enhance long-term infrastructur at the six MSIs by developing a Leadership Circle and supporting a PCOR leader (from former ENACT fellows), who will serve as the educational leader in PCOR methods at each MSI after the life of this grant. We will also rigorously monitor and guide career development through a well- defined evaluation processes. This will make a substantial contribution to the capacity of the national PCOR workforce and represent a program with unique elements not found in any other awards at Pitt or the MSIs.
Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) seeks to compare treatment harms and benefits in terms of meaningful outcomes (e.g. mortality or quality of life). Enhancing the capacity of the U.S. workforce in PCOR is critical to providing physicians and patients the information they need to make optimal decisions about health care. Our study develops and implements a training program to address this critical need in partnership with Minority Serving Institutions.
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