UF Health projects create new opportunities for patients to help shape research priorities

2014CTSI_Pipeline2Over the next nine months, four projects led by UF research teams will foster deeper dialogue and forge new partnerships among patients, families, researchers, health care providers and other stakeholders who share a common interest in health challenges related to autism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dental emergencies and obesity.

The research teams bring together expertise from eight UF colleges and UF Health’s Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses. With support from four pilot grants totaling close to $60,000, the teams will organize a series of activities through which patients and community members can provide input on research questions that would be meaningful to them.

“Increasingly, patients and communities are insisting on a more active role in research studies involving them. They want to be sure the research entails problems they think are important. This has led to the development of ‘patient-centered outcomes research,’ in which patients and communities are actively involved in planning and developing the research plan, recruiting patients, carrying out the field work, and analyzing and interpreting the results,” said Thomas A. Pearson, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., executive vice president for research and education for UF Health.

Pearson explained the advantages of a patient-centered approach include increasing a study’s chance of avoiding inaccurate or insensitive messages in study materials, being certain all safety measures are taken, recruiting diverse research participants, appropriately interpreting results, and effectively disseminating results back to the community.

To expand opportunities for faculty to develop partnerships with research stakeholders, Pearson created UF Health’s Pipeline to Proposal Development Grant Program in collaboration with the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The program is modeled on the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Pipeline to Proposal mechanism.

The UF Health program’s first four projects will engage a range of community members in different ways to better understand what matters most to people affected by specific health conditions. Follow the links below to read more about each project, or learn about other ways UF Health and CTSI researchers are engaging communities in On the Same Page: