Sep 12, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

The board of governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent nonprofit authorized by Congress, recently approved $85 million for 16 new studies to improve outcomes for several health conditions. 

All studies will compare at least two approaches to problems that cause high levels of burden on patients, caregivers, and the healthcare system. The studies will include opioid use, cancer, depression, and stroke.

According to, PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH, said, "These new awards will help answer significant questions about treatment and care delivery that are important to patients and those who care for them.

"They reflect the best ideas for urgently needed research on topics prioritized based on input from patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other stakeholders. The results will give healthcare decision makers evidence they need to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions.”

Several notable studies that will receive funding include $5 million to the University of Washington for a natural experiment study on reducing unsafe opioid prescriptions in workers' compensation system. 

Others include $15.7 million for a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study to compare current stroke care with a new design, $8.5 million for the University of Washington to study bladder-removal surgery treatments, and $13.3 million for a West Virginia University trial for treating patients with major depressive disorders in rural areas.

Learn more about healthcare studies. 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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