PCORI Board Approves $12.5 Million for PCORnet Patient-Powered 
Research Network Demonstration Projects

For Immediate Release
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Contact: Christine Stencel, Associate Director of Media Relations (202-570-9275 or [email protected])

PCORI Board Approves $12.5 Million for PCORnet Patient-Powered 
Research Network Demonstration Projects

Also Authorizes $22 Million to Compare Treatment Options for Chronic Low Back Pain

WASHINGTON, DC (Mar. 22, 2016) — The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors today approved $12.5 million for five Patient-Powered Research Network (PPRN) demonstration projects.

Additionally, the Board authorized providing up to $22 million to study ways to improve treatment of chronic low back pain, a leading cause of disability and one of the most frequent reasons adults seek medical care.

The $12.5 million in PPRN awards are the latest issued as part of PCORI’s National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, or PCORnet, initiative. PCORnet aims to harness the power of health data and patient partnerships to allow the nation to conduct patient-centered CER more efficiently, with greater power and at lower cost than previously possible.

The newly approved PPRN demonstration projects will examine:

  • The effectiveness of a specific carbohydrate diet versus a Mediterranean diet among patients with Crohn’s disease.
  • Engagement and education methods to help reduce depression in gay, lesbian, and bisexual populations.
  • The comparative effectiveness and safety of biologic therapies.
  • Intervention tools for increasing physical activity by patients with mood disorders who are at risk for heart disease.
  • Monitoring and peer support to improve outcomes in patients with both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep apnea.

Details of the approved demonstration projects can be found on PCORI’s website.
PCORI will develop a funding announcement on low back pain to be issued early next month that will seek patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness (CER) projects on this topic, soliciting studies comparing optimal clinical strategies that both do and don’t include spinal fusion surgery.

This will be PCORI’s ninth such funding announcement targeting specific conditions that impose a major burden on patients, their families and the healthcare system as a whole. With this latest action, the Board has committed or awarded approximately $200 million in such targeted research projects, out of a total of nearly $1.3 billion in awards since 2012 for patient-centered CER projects and the infrastructure and methods to support them. All of the new awards were approved pending a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of formal award contracts.

“These targeted topics are part our effort to add specificity to our research agenda by identifying and funding studies that truly answer patients’ highest priority questions and address major challenges to our healthcare system,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH.

PCORI has now approved or awarded $936 million for 297 CER projects that will provide evidence to help patients and those who care for them make better-informed healthcare choices. In addition, PCORI has awarded $102 million to support 122 projects on improving the methodology for conducting rigorous patient-centered outcomes research and invested $237 million to develop PCORnet.


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at www.pcori.org.

About PCORnet
PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, is an innovative initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The goal of PCORnet is to improve the nation’s capacity to conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research efficiently by creating a large, highly representative network for conducting clinical outcomes research that directly involves patients in the development and execution of the research. More information is available at www.pcornet.org.