Thursday, July 23, 2015 PCORI Devotes Additional $142 Million to Expansion of Clinical Research Network The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) plans to invest $142.5 million to expand its clinical research network—another facet of a broad initiative that includes major grants supporting physical therapy research. According to a PCORI news release, the money will be used to establish a second-phase expansion of the National Patient Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet), a project that links various health data research networks. The funding will be used in part to expand the number of PCORnet participants from 27 to 34, and will include both clinical data and patient-powered research networks. The 34 PCORnet partner networks encompass more than 150 conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, autism spectrum disorders, heart disease, obesity, Parkinson disease, behavioral health disparities among low-income populations, and health disparities among sexual and gender minorities, all drawn from a wide variety of population groups. "Having key stakeholders--researchers, patients, clinicians, and health systems—working together to co-create PCORnet has been a tremendous step forward in how we approach health research," PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH, stated in the news release. "We're proud of the achievements of the participating individuals and organizations that have worked so diligently to prepare PCORnet to begin conducting robust and efficient patient-centered research." PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Besides creating PCORnet, PCORI is funding specific research projects. Earlier this year, the institute announced that it will devote $28 million to support 2 research efforts led by prominent physical therapy researchers Pamela Duncan PT, DPT, FAPTA, and Anthony Delitto , PT, PhD, FAPTA. Duncan’s project will look at treatment of patients poststroke to find out whether early discharge with ongoing support by physical therapists (PTs) and other providers results in better daily function outcomes than do longer hospital stays and standard transitional care. Delitto's research will focus on low back pain, comparing 2 approaches in the outpatient primary care physician (PCP) setting. One is the "usual"care approach, and the other teams PCPs with PTs to provide cognitive behavioral therapy.