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PCORI Multiple Chronic Conditions Roundtable Highlights

November 21, 2012

On November 16th, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease hosted the “Multiple Chronic Conditions and Opportunities for PCORI Research” roundtable at the American Osteopathic Association in Washington. This event served to bring together physicians, patient advocates, patients and others from the health care sector to discuss the impact of multiple chronic conditions and the paths for future research through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a body authorized by Congress to conduct research and provide information about the best available evidence to help patients and their health care providers make more informed decisions. PCORI’s research is intended to give patients a better understanding of the prevention, treatment and care options available, and the science that supports those options.

The roundtable was kicked off with an informative presentation from Dr. Kara Odom Walker of PCORI. Dr. Walker outlined that the primary goal moving forward is to create comparative research that addresses patient-centered outcomes and fostering an environment where patients are partnered throughout the process. With that in mind, following Dr. Walker’s remarks were two panels – a patient perspective and a provider perspective – featuring insights from Nancy Scott, patient and past president of Dialysis Patient Citizens; David Shern, Mental Health America, Alan Balch, Preventive Health Partnership; Dr. Cynthia Boyd of Johns Hopkins; and health coach and diabetes educator Sandra Bollinger.

Over the course of varied panel discussion and question and answer sessions, the themes of empowering patients, expanding the scope of preventive medicine and better shaping guidelines for clinical practitioners emerged as drivers for future considerations in the health care research efforts. In addition, the emphasis on future research directions yielded several interesting points that included increasing focus on patient engagement and empowerment, as well as communication, fostering patient-typing and matching with intervention, better understanding disparities that individuals and populations present, and creating a process of estimating prognoses and how that can be applied to multiple chronic conditions.

In working with our partners PFCD will forge on in its effort to productively and positively impact PCORI’s research agenda for 2013. PFCD Chairman Ken Thorpe’s recent column in The Huffington Post further details the value of the goals and objectives at hand. As PFCD continues in its mission to raise awareness of chronic disease, a focus on addressing multiple chronic conditions and the research that supports approaches for dealing with them will remain a priority. We look forward to a continued partnership with PCORI and working with them on moving our shared goals forward.