April 9, 2020: Biostatistics Core Brings Experience to PRISM Challenges: An Interview With Dr. Patrick Heagerty and Dr. Liz Turner

The NIH Collaboratory’s Biostatistics and Study Design Core Working Group supports the Demonstration Projects by offering guidance on their statistical plans and study designs during the planning phase and documenting new statistical and methodological issues that arise during planning and implementation.

At the NIH Collaboratory PRISM kickoff meeting in November, we spoke with the leaders of the Biostatistics and Study Design Core, Dr. Patrick Heagerty and Dr. Liz Turner, to learn more about how the Core is supporting the new PRISM Demonstration Projects.

“Conducting these studies in living health systems is fraught with challenges and opportunities—things changing in the healthcare system that will affect a planned design that’s no longer possible to conduct, and building partnerships with the systems so that it’s possible to flexibly react in terms of the study design along the way,” said Dr. Turner. “We’ll be there to help support [the PRISM projects] and identify some of those challenges,” she said.

The new Demonstration Projects are part of the the PRISM program (Pragmatic and Implementation Studies for the Management of Pain to Reduce Opioid Prescribing), a component of the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative. The NIH Collaboratory serves as the PRISM Resource Coordinating Center.

“The Core group meetings bring all these amazing minds together in one spot to listen: What are we hearing that specific projects are thinking about or wrestling with?” said Dr. Heagerty. “What are ideas that we can bring to solve it? And what are new questions that we need to dig a little deeper and learn more about?” he said.

Learn more about the PRISM Demonstration Projects:

  • AcuOA: Pragmatic Trial of Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adults
  • FM TIPS: Fibromyalgia TENS in Physical Therapy Study
  • NOHARM: Non-pharmacological Options in Postoperative Hospital-Based and Rehabilitation Pain Management
  • OPTIMUM: Group-based mindfulness for patients with chronic low back pain in the primary care setting

The NIH Collaboratory PRISM Resource Coordinating Center is supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Support is also provided by the NIH Common Fund through a cooperative agreement from the Office of Strategic Coordination within the Office of the NIH Director.