Building the Science of Engagement

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) engages patients and other partners in all phases of comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and patient-centered outcomes research. Engagement can take many forms, and as such, PCORI’s practice of engagement has become a real-time, live experiment that offers a rich set of experiences to generate evidence about engagement.

This series of qualitative studies for the PCORI Science of Engagement project seeks to understand whether engagement of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other partners changes the course of PCORI-funded studies, and if so, how.

The first qualitative study explored the full extent of how engagement can influence or have an impact on CER studies. AIR conducted 109 interviews with researchers and their partners from a sample of 58 PCORI-funded research projects. Projects reflected the diversity of PCORI’s research portfolio in terms of study completion status, funding announcement type, and priority area. High-level findings were presented at a plenary session—How Engagement Is Making Research More Useful—at PCORI’s 2019 annual meeting. Read our research article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

In the second study, AIR conducted six in-depth, qualitative case studies of PCORI research projects to understand how projects manage different viewpoints and balance priorities. We applied a multiple embedded descriptive case study design and interviewed 32 researchers and partners, including patients, caregivers, and clinicians, and reviewed documents related to each project (e.g., publications, progress reports submitted to PCORI). Read our research article in Health Expectations.

In the third study, AIR is conducting exploratory qualitative use cases to examine the relationship between engagement and three uses of study findings: 1) integration into clinical guidelines, point-of-care decision tools, and policy documents; 2) implementation of study findings to sites and populations beyond the study, and 3) active dissemination of study findings by external parties to specific audiences. 

Managing Director
Tandrea Hilliard
Senior Researcher