Intended for healthcare professionals


Can patient centered outcomes research improve healthcare?

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 31 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3859
  1. Thomas W Concannon, senior policy researcher1, assistant professor2
  1. 1The RAND Corporation, 20 Park Plaza, Suite 920, Boston, MA 02116, USA
  2. 2Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
  1. tconcann{at}

We believe it can; now we should put it to the test

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (PCORTF) was established in 2009 to support research that is funded, designed, carried out, and put into practice within a culture of patient centeredness.1 A legislatively mandated review in 2017 of the “adequacy and use of funding” will be used to determine whether PCORTF funding levels should be continued or adjusted after its authorization runs out in autumn 2019. As 2017 approaches, researchers ought to begin taking stock of our work in patient centered outcomes research: how well are we are doing and what might we do better?

In the linked paper (doi:10.1136/bmj.h3786), Xian and colleagues present a solid example of how to refocus research on questions, outcomes, and approaches that could help patients and clinicians to make better healthcare decisions. The team studied prescribing of warfarin for patients with ischemic stroke who were discharged from hospital between 2009 and 2011 with persistent or paroxysmal atrial fibrillation or flutter.2 This study was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in 2013.

This team’s preliminary work with patients resulted in prioritization …

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