Wednesday, December 19, 2012 CER Projects to Study Rehab for Stroke, Nonsurgical Spinal Stenosis Treatment The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) yesterday approved 25 awards, totaling $40.7 million over 3 years, to fund patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) projects under the first 4 areas of its National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda. The projects approved for funding include those that will study rehabilitation services for survivors of acute ischemic stroke, nonsurgical treatment methods for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis, and a patient-centered risk stratification method for improving primary care for back pain. Other projects seek ways to improve patient-clinician communication, reduce selected health disparities, and improve the way health care systems operate. The projects were approved by PCORI's Board of Governors through a competitive, multi-stage review process that incorporated patients, caregivers, and other stakeholders in the evaluation of proposals. Applications were evaluated on scientific merit, engagement of patients and other stakeholders, methodological rigor, and fit within PCORI's research priorities and research agenda. The awards are part of PCORI's first cycle of primary research funding and selected from among nearly 500 completed applications submitted earlier this year.