Patient-Centered Outcomes Research for Public Health Practice

Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative effectiveness research (CER) are important sources of data to inform local population health decisions and practice. PCOR “helps people and their caregivers communicate and make informed healthcare decisions, allowing their voices to be heard in assessing the value of healthcare options,” while CER “compares the effectiveness of two or more interventions or approaches to health care, examining their risks and benefits.”

PCOR and CER engage community members to guide the research agenda and produce results that highlight the specific needs of that community, which can inform local health department (LHD) programs and services to better align them with the community’s unique needs. In addition, PCOR and CER can help LHDs identify evidence-based practices (EBP) and gain confidence in developing services that integrate EBP.

NACCHO, through funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), explored different ways in which LHDs can build their capacity to implement PCOR and/or CER and to apply those research findings to public health practice.

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Story from the Field: Public Health - Seattle & King County

PHSKC used PCOR/CER to conduct a study on the impact of home visits from community health workers to help patients manage asthma symptoms.

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Story from the Field: Public Health - Seattle & King County

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Story from the Field: Lafayette County Health Department

LCHD was a partner in a PCOR/CER study on migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their preferences and needs as it relates to healthcare decisions.

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Story from the Field: Lafayette County Health Department

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Story from the Field: Harris County Public Health

HCPH conducted a PCOR/CER study comparing the cost-effectiveness of video-directly-observed-therapy (VDOT) to directly-observed-therapy (DOT) for TB.

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Story from the Field: Harris County Public Health

There are numerous publicly available resources that can guide LHDs on various aspects of the research process. The resources below are not meant to be a comprehensive list but rather as a starting point for organizations seeking to gain additional knowledge and experience in this field.

PCOR and CER can encompass a breadth of initiatives, and LHDs play a myriad of important roles in the research process. For example, LHDs can conduct the research as a Principal Investigator (PI) or serve as a research stakeholder to provide insight into relevant methods, community engagement, and effective communication strategies. Below are examples of how health departments have engaged in PCOR and/or CER via PCORI funding in recent years.

To learn more about NACCHO's work to build LHD capacity, share resources, or inquire about how to engage in PCOR/CER, please contact us at info@naccho.org

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