October 1, 2018: Meeting Minutes from NIH Collaboratory’s Regulatory/Ethics Core Discussions with the New Demonstration Projects

Meeting minutes and supplementary materials are available that summarize discussions related to the ethics and regulatory issues associated with each of the new UG3 Demonstration Projects. These discussions, which took place by teleconference, included representation from study principal investigators and study teams, members of the NIH Collaboratory Regulatory/Ethics Core, NIH staff, and NIH Collaboratory Coordinating Center personnel as well as some IRBs responsible for oversight of the projects.

September 14, 2018: Tips for Submitting a Pragmatic Trial Application to NIH

In a new video, Dr. Wendy Weber, the Program Officer for the NIH Collaboratory Coordinating Center, provides some expert advice for investigators who are considering submitting an application for a pragmatic clinical trial to the NIH.

“Don’t assume that the study panel is going to understand what pragmatic means. They may have their own completely different definition than you, and it’s important that you get on the same page early on in your application.” —Wendy Weber, PhD, Acting Deputy Director, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

September 7, 2018: NIH Collaboratory: Research Transformation in Progress (Adrian Hernandez MD, MHS, Kevin Weinfurt, PhD, Lesley Curtis, PhD)

Speakers

Adrian F. Hernandez, MD, MHS
Professor of Medicine
Vice Dean for Clinical Research
Duke University School of Medicine

Kevin Weinfurt, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair for Research
Department of Population Health Sciences
Duke University School of Medicine

Lesley H. Curtis, PhD
Chair and Professor
Department of Population Health Sciences
Duke University School of Medicine
Interim Executive Director, Duke Clinical Research Institute

Topic

NIH Collaboratory: Research Transformation in Progress

Keywords

Clinical trials; Research studies; Healthcare delivery; Clinical care; embedded pragmatic clinical trials; ePCTs; Peer-reviewed journals; Demonstration projects; NIH funding

Key Points

  • The goal of the NIH Collaboratory is to strengthen the national capacity to implement cost-effective large-scale research studies that engage healthcare delivery organizations as research partners.
  • Embedded pragmatic clinical trials bridge research into clinical care.
  • The NIH Collaboratory has contributed to 80 publications about embedded pragmatic trials in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Six new demonstration projects were recently added to the NIH Collaboratory portfolio:
    • Improving Advance Care Planning in Oncology: A Pragmatic, Cluster-Randomized Trial Integrating Patient Videos and Clinician Communication Training (ACP PEACE)
    • Pragmatic Trial of Higher vs. Lower Serum Phosphate Targets in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis (HiLo)
    • Pragmatic Trial of Parent-Focused Prevention in Pediatric Primary Care: Implementation and Adolescent Health Outcomes in Three Health Systems (GGC4H: Guiding Good Choices for Health)
    • Pragmatic Trial of User-Centered Clinical Decision Support to Implement Emergency Department-Initiated Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder (EMBED)
    • Personalized Patient Data and Behavioral Nudges to Improve Adherence to Chronic Cardiovascular Medications (Nudge)
      Primary Palliative Care for Emergency Medicine (PRIM-ER)

Discussion Themes

The NIH Collaboratory is addressing many of the challenges and logistical barriers to conducting pragmatic clinical trials embedded in healthcare systems. There is still progress to be made in explaining the value and benefit of embedded PCTs (ePCTs) to healthcare leadership.

The NIH Collaboratory workshops have had a positive impact and have increased NIH’s interest in supporting the conduct of ePCTs.

Determining how pragmatic clinical trials can be conducted more routinely will be critical to their impact.

 

Tags

@texhern, @lmhcurtis, @PCTGrandRounds, #pctGR #ClinicalResearch, #researchstudies, #clinicaltrials, #clinicalcare, #peerreviewed

September 10: NIH Collaboratory Launches New ePCT Training Resources

The NIH Collaboratory is pleased to announce new training resources available on the Living Textbook. These resources are being shared with the research community to provide guidance about building partnerships with health systems and overcoming the challenges of conducting embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs). The materials reflect the knowledge, insight, and best practices acquired by the NIH Collaboratory program and its Demonstration Projects.

Resources include:

  • Materials from the inaugural ePCT Training Workshop held in February 2018 to provide training to mid- and senior-level investigators interested in conducting ePCTs
  • A slide presentation of the NIH Collaboratory’s goals and organizational structure along with a brief introduction to each Demonstration Project
  • An infographic introducing the elements of the NIH Collaboratory program and the value of engaging in pragmatic research
  • A slide presentation and worksheet on essential things to think about and do when designing, conducting, and disseminating ePCTs
  • An introductory video from NIH Collaboratory leadership on the rationale and aims for the ePCT training resources

“The workshop reinforced that there is a demand for these kinds of training opportunities across the clinical research community.” Lesley Curtis, PhD

Visit the new training resources webpage.

September 7, 2018: Spotlight on a New Demonstration Project: HiLo

Kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but an insufficient organ supply renders dialysis the only viable treatment option for most patients. Though clinical outcomes among patients receiving dialysis have improved modestly in recent years, annual rates of hospitalization and mortality remain unacceptably high, and quality of life is poor. Poor outcomes are driven primarily by increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but interventions that improve outcomes in the general population by targeting traditional CVD risk factors have mostly failed in patients with ESRD. Current clinical practice guidelines advocate aggressive treatment of high serum phosphate to near-normal levels using dietary phosphate binders and restrictive diets. The benefits of this approach, however, are unproven, the optimal serum phosphate target remains unknown, and potential harms of aggressive treatment have not been definitively identified.

The Pragmatic Trial of Higher vs. Lower Serum Phosphate Targets in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis (HiLo) plans to address these clinically important questions in a large, pragmatic, cluster-randomized trial that will evaluate the effects of liberalizing the serum phosphate target (“Hi”) versus maintaining aggressive phosphate control (“Lo”) for patients receiving treatment with maintenance hemodialysis.

 “The question at hand is something we grapple with on a daily basis in every dialysis facility across the country. Either answer will be important new information that will help us do a better job taking care of patients and hopefully improve their quality of life.”

HiLo is led by Myles Wolf, MD, of Duke University with support from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Read more about HiLo.

September 6, 2018: Spotlight on a New Demonstration Project: ACP PEACE

Because many clinicians do not have the skill set to engage patients in conversations about advance care planning (ACP), many older Americans with advanced cancer receive aggressive interventions at the end of life that do not reflect their values, goals, and preferences. The ACP PEACE trial is investigating whether a comprehensive approach to ACP improves patient outcomes. The program will combine two evidence-based complementary interventions: clinician communication skills training (VitalTalk) and patient video decision aids (ACP Decisions). The goal is to provide both patients and clinicians with communication skills and tools so they can make informed decisions about end-of-life care.

“We’re doing an intervention where we include videos for patients about what the possible interventions are, and we’re also training the clinicians, the oncologists and their teams to have better communication about their goals of care and about treatment planning.” —James Tulsky, MD, Co-Principal Investigator of the ACP PEACE trial.

ACP-PEACE is one of the new NIH Collaboratory Demonstration Projects and is led by Drs. James A. Tulsky and Angelo Volandes with support from the National Institute on Aging. Read more about ACP PEACE.

James Tulsky from NIH Research Collaboratory on Vimeo.

 

September 5, 2018: Spotlight on a New Demonstration Project: GGC4H

Before the end of high school, more than half of all adolescents will use an illicit drug, about a quarter will meet the criteria for depression, and many others will engage in behaviors such as delinquency and violence. Guiding Good Choices is a universal evidence-based anticipatory guidance curriculum for parents of early adolescents that has been shown to reduce adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use; depression; and delinquent behavior. Evidence-based parenting interventions shown to prevent these behavioral health concerns could improve adolescent health trajectories if implemented widely in pediatric primary care.

The Pragmatic Trial of Parent-Focused Prevention in Pediatric Primary Care: Implementation and Adolescent Health Outcomes in Three Health Systems (GGC4H: Guiding Good Choices for Health) is a cluster-randomized trial that will partner with pediatric primary care clinics to offer the training in three large, integrated healthcare systems serving socioeconomically diverse families.

“We already have an effective intervention, so we’re not trying to test whether it works or not; it’s really about getting the intervention into a population.”  —Richard Catalano, PhD, co-Principal Investigator of the GGC4H trial.

GGC4H is led by Richard Catalano, PhD, Margaret Kuklinski, PhD, and Stacy Sterling, DrPH, with support from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Read more about GGC4H.

September 4, 2018: Spotlight on a New Demonstration Project: PRIM-ER

In the United States, half of persons 65 years and older have an emergency department visit in the last month of life, and three-quarters have an emergency department visit in the last 6 months of life. Admissions to intensive care units by emergency clinicians are on the rise, especially for older patients. Meanwhile, three-quarters of older adults with serious illness have thought about end-of-life care, and only 12% want life-prolonging care.

The Primary Palliative Care for Emergency Medicine (PRIM-ER) pragmatic clinical trial will address this gap in the delivery of goal-directed emergency care of older adults. PRIM-ER will implement primary palliative care in a diverse group of 35 emergency departments. The trial will test the hypothesis that older patients with serious, life-limiting illness who receive care from clinicians with primary palliative care skills are less likely to be admitted to inpatient settings, are more likely to be discharged home or to palliative care service, and will have higher home health and hospice use, fewer inpatient days and intensive care unit admissions at 6 months, and longer survival than patients receiving care before implementation of the intervention.

“Giving emergency nurses, physician assistants, doctors the knowledge and skills they need to better care for patients with serious illness will ease symptom burden, improve quality of life, and get patients to the places where they want to be at the end of life.”

As a new addition to the NIH Collaboratory’s family of innovative Demonstration Projects, the PRIM-ER trial will feature evidence-based, multidisciplinary primary palliative care education; simulation-based workshops on communication in serious illness; clinical decision support, and provider audit and feedback.

PRIM-ER is led by principal investigator Dr. Corita Grudzen of New York University with support from the National Institute on Aging and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Watch a video interview with Dr. Grudzen, and read more about PRIM-ER.

August 28, 2018: Spotlight on a New Demonstration Project: Nudge

More than half of patients with prescriptions for cardiovascular medications do not take their medications as prescribed. These patients are at greater risk of death and comorbid conditions and have higher healthcare costs. Strategies to improve medication adherence have had mixed results. Meanwhile, advances in mobile and digital technologies for health promotion and disease self-management offer new opportunities to influence patients’ health behaviors and improve health outcomes.

“One of the real benefits of using technology is that it can be widely disseminated. Studying that dissemination process is really where we are in the field. So a pragmatic trial makes a lot of sense.” — Sheana Bull, PhD, MPH

The NIH Collaboratory is pleased to welcome the Personalized Patient Data and Behavioral Nudges to Improve Adherence to Chronic Cardiovascular Medications (Nudge) study to its portfolio of Demonstration Projects. The Nudge study will use mobile phone text messages and an artificial intelligence chatbot to deliver behavioral “nudges” to patients to improve medication adherence. The study will access population-level pharmacy data in 3 integrated healthcare delivery systems to test the effectiveness of the nudges on adherence and outcomes among patients with chronic cardiovascular conditions who take medications to treat hypertension, atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia.

The Nudge study is led by co–principal investigators Drs. Sheana Bull and Michael Ho of the University of Colorado with support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Watch a video interview with Drs. Bull and Ho, and read more about Nudge.

 

August 28, 2018: ADAPTABLE Patient-Reported Health Data Codes Now Available

The ADAPTABLE pragmatic trial relies on patients to report key information at baseline and throughout follow-up. To capture these data, ADAPTABLE investigators developed a LOINC (Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes) patient-reported item set, which is now publicly available.

The development of the item set is part of the ADAPTABLE Supplement, an initiative funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to develop best practices for capturing patient-reported outcome data and optimal analytic approaches for using the data in a pragmatic clinical trial. Additional reference material can be found in the ADAPTABLE Supplement Roundtable Meeting summary, in a report describing the results of a literature review of data standards and metadata standards for variables of interest, and on GitHub. The project is expected to inform future efforts to integrate patient-reported data in the electronic health record and provide opportunities to streamline data for use in pragmatic trials. Information from the project is being added to the Living Textbook as it accumulates; learn more in the chapters on Using Electronic Health Record Data and Choosing and Specifying End Points and Outcomes.

ADAPTABLE (Aspirin Dosing: A Patient-Centric Trial Assessing Benefits and Long-Term Effectiveness) aims to identify the optimal dose of aspirin therapy for secondary prevention in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and is the first major randomized comparative effectiveness trial to be conducted by the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet).