Bridging the divide: building infrastructure to support community-academic partnerships and improve capacity to conduct patient-centered outcomes research.
For research to be useful, trustworthy, and ultimately lead to greater dissemination of findings to patients and communities, it is important to train and mentor academic researchers to meaningfully engage community members in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). Thus, it is necessary for research institutions to strengthen their underlying infrastructure to support PCOR. PATIENTS-PATient-centered Involvement in Evaluating effectiveNess of TreatmentS-at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, focuses on improving PCOR methods and addressing health disparities. It relies on evidence-based engagement methods to sustain and leverage innovative partnerships so patients, health care
providers, and academic partners are motivated to participate in the conduct and dissemination of PCOR. Program components address training needs, bi-directional engagement, cultural competency, and dissemination and implementation. Activities (guided by community representatives, leadership from university schools, patient advocates, and PCOR experts) include providing resources, conducting PCOR projects, engaging community members, and disseminating PCOR findings. With its emphasis on the broad range of PCOR topics and methods, and through fostering sustainable relationships with community members and researchers, PATIENTS has successfully cultivated bi-directional partnerships and provided operational and scientific support for a new generation of skilled PCOR researchers. Early
evidence of effectiveness includes progress in training and mentoring students and investigators, an increase in submission of PCOR proposals, and community-informed strategies for dissemination. Programs such as PATIENTS reinforce the value of bridging the traditional divide between academia and communities to support patient- and community-engaged dissemination and implementation research and foster sustainable PCOR infrastructure.
Transl Behav Med. 2017 Dec;7(4):773-782. doi: 10.1007/s13142-017-0487-z.