PCOR Applied Research Transforming Engaged Real World Settings

Investigator: Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH

Location(s): United States


this program is designed to train clinician-researchers for the effective generation and uptake of patient centered outcomes research (PCOR). PARTNERS (PATIENT CENTERED OUTCOMES RESEARCH: Applied Research TraNsforming Engaged Real-world Systems) is a collaboration between the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI), an outstanding research unit embedded within a health care delivery system, and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

The name reflects in several ways how we view PCOR. To be more than just a collection of peer-reviewed publications, research needs to be adopted, often with adaptations, in real-world settings. This requires researcher understanding of the constraints, expectations, and time frames of such settings;such understanding, moreover, leads to much better research. Classic research is built around individual PIs bringing their own disciplinary perspective to a project, then leaving it to others (with less in-depth expertise) to reconcile differences in findings. In contrast, we believe researchers have an obligation to go further and we see PCOR involving partnerships of many disciplines-clinicians, social scientists, data experts-engaging with patients to understand how to better provide services that patients value. This may require 'unlearning'the some of the assumptions implicit in how research is typically done in academic settings. Applicants for this two-year training program will already have both the clinical and research skills to undertake excellent research but want to learn about doing such research embedded within, or in true partnerships with, delivery systems. The four Scholars chosen will work closely with two mentors-one in a similar, and one in a different, discipline. They will be engaged in ongoing projects with their mentors as well as developing their own projects. Researchers will be embedded in health care delivery settings such as the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, UCSF Medical Center, and San Francisco General Hospital and its network of community health clinics. The project teams will usually be multidisciplinary in nature and collaborative. The Scholars will be appointed in the professional researcher series at either institution so they can be principal investigators. They will be seen as young colleagues, not trainees, with high expectations and support for productivity. Required coursework, unless previously taken, will include a series of 5 courses in implementation and dissemination science offered through the UCSF Training in Clinical Research Program relating to individual and organizational behavior change theory, community engagement, and influencing policy makers (Epi 245-249). Scholars will also participate in an ongoing weekly seminar series on Partnered Research. The PARTNERS program is led by Dr. Luft at PAMFRI and Drs. Gonzales and Kushel at UCSF.