February 11, 2020: ADAPTABLE Roundtable Produces Consensus Statement on Analysis and Integration of Patient-Reported Data in Clinical Trials

A roundtable discussion organized by the NIH Collaboratory in 2017 has produced consensus findings on the analysis and integration of patient-reported health (PRH) data in clinical trials. The report is part of an effort by the ADAPTABLE Supplement project team “to address best practices for capturing PRH data in pragmatic studies and optimal analytic approaches for integrating PRH with other data sources.”

The consensus statement was published online ahead of print this month in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The report discusses strengths and limitations of PRH data, approaches for ascertaining and classifying study end points, and methods for addressing incompleteness, data alignment, and data concordance. Roundtable participants used experiences from the ADAPTABLE trial as a case study to inform their discussions.

ADAPTABLE, the first major randomized comparative effectiveness trial conducted by the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet), seeks to determine the optimal dose of aspirin therapy for secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The trial relies on both existing EHR data sources and PRH data.

This work was supported by a supplemental grant award to the NIH Collaboratory Coordinating Center from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

January 31, 2020: Living Textbook Grand Rounds Series Part 1: Pragmatic Clinical Trials: How Do I Start? (Lesley H. Curtis, PhD, Greg Simon, MD, MPH)

Speakers

Greg Simon, MD, MPH
Senior Investigator
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

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

Pragmatic Clinical Trials: How Do I Start?

Keywords

Pragmatic clinical trials; PRECIS-2; Real-world evidence; Health systems research; Stakeholders; Clinical workflow; Study team

Key Points

  • Embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs) are large, efficient studies conducted in the real world that provide evidence for adoption of an intervention into clinical practice.
  • ePCTs are conducted in partnership with healthcare systems, use streamlined procedures and existing infrastructure, and answer important medical questions. However, high relevance to real-world decision-making can sometimes come at the expense of trial efficiency.
  • The PRECIS-2 scores are not absolute virtues; rather, the tool helps researchers determine if their trial is fit for purpose based on their study question.
  • For greater generalizability, ePCTs should be conducted in a diverse range of patients, and study results should be reported transparently.

Discussion Themes

How might we support health systems that serve more diverse populations to participate in a pragmatic clinical trial?

What concerns might be voiced by health system leaders regarding potential reputational risk of a PCT, and perhaps downstream issues about the results publication?

The question “Can everyone do this study?” is different from “Can everyone believe the research results?”

To see upcoming topics in the Living Textbook Grand Rounds series, download the flyer and share with your colleagues and institution. To learn more about the fundamentals of designing and launching a successful ePCT visit the Living Textbook.

Tags
#pctGR, @Collaboratory1

January 24, 2020: Cardiovascular Trials Over 2 Decades: Progress on Pragmatism? (Justin A. Ezekowitz, MBBCh, MSc)

Speaker

Justin A. Ezekowitz, MBBCh, MSc
Professor, Department of Medicine
Co-Director, Canadian VIGOUR Centre
Director, Cardiovascular Research, University of Alberta
Cardiologist, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

Topic

Cardiovascular Trials Over 2 Decades: Progress on Pragmatism?

Keywords

Pragmatic clinical trials; PRECIS-2; Cardiovascular trials; Enrollment of women

Key Points

  • Pragmatic clinical trials are “designed for the primary purpose of informing decision-makers regarding the comparative balance of benefits, burdens and risks of a biomedical or behavioral health intervention at the individual or population level” (Califf & Sugarman, 2015).
  • This study examined how pragmatic or explanatory cardiovascular (CV) randomized controlled trials are; whether the level of pragmatism in CV trials has changed over 2 decades; and whether the proportion of women enrolled in CV trials has changed over 2 decades.
  • No clinical trial is completely explanatory or pragmatic. In this study, trials that scored higher on pragmatism (using the PRECIS-2 tool) had more sites, a larger sample size, longer follow up, and mortality as a primary endpoint.

Discussion Themes

Randomized controlled trials that were published in general medicine journals scored higher in pragmatism than those published in CV journals. Pragmatism has increased over time in CV trials.

While women account for ~45% of the burden of CV diseases, they are underrepresented in CV randomized controlled trials, with less than one-third of trial participants. There was no difference between pragmatic trials and other trials in terms of women’s enrollment.

Initiatives that focus on patient, clinician, and trial design factors are needed to address the gender gap in trial enrollment.

Read more about the PRECIS-2 tool in the Living Textbook, and Dr. Ezekowitz’s research in Trends in the Explanatory or Pragmatic Nature of Cardiovascular Clinical Trials Over 2 Decades (JAMA Cardiology, 2019).

Tags
#pctGR, @Collaboratory1

January 17, 2020: Assessment of the Human Systemic Absorption of Sunscreen Active Ingredients: FDA-Sponsored Randomized Clinical Trial (Murali Matta, MPharm, PhD)

Speaker

Murali Matta, MPharm, PhD
Bioanalytical Lead
Division of Applied Regulatory Science
Office of Clinical Pharmacology
Food and Drug Administration

Topic

Assessment of the Human Systemic Absorption of Sunscreen Active Ingredients: FDA-Sponsored Randomized Clinical Trial

Keywords

FDA; Sunscreen; Randomized controlled trial; Regulatory; Data analysis

Key Points

  • The active ingredients in nonprescription sunscreen products are organic chemicals, some of which have been shown to be absorbed through human skin with detectable levels in the blood or urine.
  • It is important that randomized clinical trials be conducted to better understand the clinical significance of systemic exposure to sunscreen products.
  • In this trial, all active ingredients in all tested products exhibited systemic exposures above the threshold for potentially waiving some nonclinical toxicology studies for sunscreens.

Discussion Themes

Do the observed differences in the sunscreen concentration depend on the application type; for example, spray versus lotion versus cream?

While additional toxicology data are needed, the results of this study do not indicate that individuals should refrain from the use of sunscreen.

Is there opportunity for collaboration with other organizations including private physician-scientists to conduct larger population studies with consumers?

Read more about Dr. Matta’s study at Shedding New Light on Sunscreen Absorption and in a recent JAMA publication.

Tags
#pctGR, @Collaboratory1, @US_FDA

December 18, 2019: NIH Collaboratory Shares New Findings and Fresh Insights in 2019

NIH Collaboratory researchers in 2019 continued to generate new knowledge and research methods in pragmatic clinical trials. Their work included insights from the Coordinating Center and Core Working Groups, large-scale analyses of data from the NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network, and results and innovative methodological approaches from the Demonstration Projects.

So far this year, the NIH Collaboratory has produced nearly 3 dozen articles in the peer-reviewed literature, including the primary results of the ABATE Infection trial, confirmation by the TiME trial of the feasibility of embedding large pragmatic trials in clinical care, and more:

NIH Collaboratory Coordinating Center

NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network

ABATE Infection Demonstration Project

EMBED Demonstration Project

PPACT Demonstration Project

PRIM-ER Demonstration Project

PROVEN Demonstration Project

SPOT Demonstration Project

STOP CRC Demonstration Project

TiME Demonstration Project

TSOS Demonstration Project

December 6, 2019: Millions More People, Stronger Collaborations: The New and Improved NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network (Richard Platt, MD, Kevin Haynes, PharmD, Denise Boudreau, PhD, Jerry Gurwitz, MD, Christopher Granger, MD)

Speakers

Richard Platt, MD, MS
Professor and Chair
Harvard Medical School
Department of Population Medicine

Kevin Haynes, PharmD, MSCE
Principal Scientist
HealthCore

Denise Boudreau, PhD
Senior Scientific Investigator
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Jerry H. Gurwitz, MD
Professor of Medicine, Family Medicine and Community Health, and Population & Quantitative Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Executive Director, Meyers Primary Care Institute

Christopher B. Granger, MD
Professor of Medicine
Duke University

Topic

Millions More People, Stronger Collaborations: The New and Improved NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network

Keywords

Embedded clinical research; Distributed research network; Administrative claims data; Multisite research; Sentinel System; Electronic health data; National registries; Common data model; Curated research data

Key Points

  • The NIH Collaboratory Distributed Research Network (DRN) enables investigators funded by the NIH and other not-for-profit sponsors to collaborate with investigators based in health plans that participate in the FDA’s Sentinel System.
  • Examples from an array of real-world research studies highlight strengths of conducting collaborative research using the DRN.
  • Among the DRN’s attributes are the abilities to embed a randomized clinical trial in real-world clinical settings, to direct outreach to providers and patients/families, and to determine feasibility with high accuracy to allow confidence in planning of ambitious clinical trials.

Discussion Themes

The DRN is optimized for multicenter research and depends on partnerships. It was developed to enable productive research collaborations.

How do investigators who are not embedded in participating health systems learn to work effectively in the DRN?

Read more about the NIH Collaboratory’s DRN.

Tags
#pctGR, @Collaboratory1, @DeptPopMed, @HealthCoreRWE

November 1, 2019: NIH Collaboratory: Looking Back, Looking Forward (Adrian Hernandez, MD, MHS, Lesley Curtis, PhD, Kevin Weinfurt, PhD)

Speakers

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

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

Topic

NIH Collaboratory: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Keywords

Embedded pragmatic clinical trials; ePCTs; NIH Collaboratory; Health care systems research; Demonstration Projects; Living Textbook; HEAL Initiative; Coordinating Center; Research dissemination; Learning health systems; Real-world evidence

Key Points

Discussion Themes

How can we harmonize the different ideas about what it is to be “pragmatic” for NIH study sections, IRBs, and DSMB reviews? For example, if your DSMB isn’t knowledgeable about PCTs, you could end up with a very explanatory trial.

A willingness to share imperfections is an important part of learning and helps the clinical trial ecosystem evolve.

An important future topic would be how the NIH Collaboratory and PCORnet fit together.

Read more about the NIH Collaboratory Program and the Living Textbook of Pragmatic Clinical Trials.

Tags
#pctGR, #PragmaticTrials, @Collaboratory1, @texhern, @lmhcurtis, @KevinWeinfurt

October 18, 2019: Playing with FHIR–Innovative Use Cases for the New REDCap EHR Integration Module (Paul Harris, PhD)

Speaker

Paul A. Harris, PhD
Director, Office of Research Informatics
Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Biostatistics, and Biomedical Engineering
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Topic

Playing with FHIR–Innovative Use Cases for the New REDCap EHR Integration Module

Keywords

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources; FHIR; Data interoperability; Electronic health record; EHR; Electronic data capture; Clinical data; Research informatics

Key Points

  • REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a robust, web-based data exchange platform developed at Vanderbilt to assist the research community in implementation efforts.
  • The REDCap consortium has more than a million users. The platform is available at no cost to academic, nonprofit, and government organizations who join the consortium.
  • Innovative use cases are being conducted with REDCap and an Epic EHR system to increase data flow and remove dependency on a data warehouse.

Discussion Themes

How can we harmonize the REDCap approach with PCORnet’s common data model (CDM)?

FHIR is an HL7 standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically. Another use case integrates FHIR to democratize EHR extraction methods to improve efficiency in multisite clinical data collection.

How can researchers manage many-to-one mapping; for example, if the electronic case report form (CRF) has one field value but there are many values in the record?

Read more about the REDCap project.

Tags
#pctGR, @Collaboratory1

October 15, 2019: Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Ethics and Regulatory Aspects of Pragmatic Clinical Trials at Johns Hopkins

The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Ethics and Regulatory Aspects of Pragmatic Clinical Trials. This position includes pursuing independent research, working alongside faculty members involved with the ethics and regulatory aspects of large-scale pragmatic clinical trials (PCTs), and participating in the Hecht-Levi Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bioethics. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to pursue one or more projects addressing the ethics and regulatory aspects of PCTs in collaboration with Berman Institute faculty members. The Fellow will actively engage with the Ethics and Regulatory Core of the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory and the Pragmatic and Implementation Studies for the Management of Pain to Reduce Opioid Prescribing (PRISM) Resource Coordinating Center.

Qualifications: Applications are welcome from candidates who will have an MD, PhD, or JD or their equivalent by the start date of the fellowship. Applicants should not have completed their terminal degree more than 3 years before the start date of the appointment. Physicians should not have completed a formal residency training program more than 3 years by the start date of the appointment.

Start date: September 1, 2020.

Terms of Appointment: The fellowship is guaranteed for 1 year with the expectation of a second year of funding, contingent on review. Applicants may not be employed by another institution and are expected to be in residence for the duration of the appointment.

How to apply: For details on how to apply see: https://bioethics.jhu.edu/education-training/fellowships/#fellowship-pragmatic. Applications must be submitted by December 16, 2019.

October 11, 2019: Objecting to Experiments that Compare Two Unobjectionable Policies or Treatments: Implications for Comparative Effectiveness and Other Pragmatic Clinical Trials (Michelle Meyer, PhD, JD)

Speaker

Michelle N. Meyer, PhD, JD
Assistant Professor & Associate Director, Research Ethics
Center for Translational Bioethics & Health Care Policy
Faculty Co-Director, Behavioral Insights Team
Steele Institute for Health Innovation, Geisinger

Topic

Objecting to Experiments that Compare Two Unobjectionable Policies or Treatments: Implications for Comparative Effectiveness and Other Pragmatic Clinical Trials

Keywords

A vs B trials; Comparative effectiveness research; Clinical equipoise; Randomization; Learning health system

Key Points

  • Healthcare delivery systems often have an ethical obligation to experiment in order to determine the effects of their policies and treatments on stakeholders. A/B experiments conducted within health systems are intended to increase quality and safety, decrease waste or lower costs, and reduce inequity and injustice.
  • The “A/B effect” is the approval of untested policies or treatments (A or B) being universally implemented but disapproval of randomized experiments (A/B tests) to determine which of those policies or treatments is superior.
  • Experimentation aversion may be an important barrier to evidence-based practice.

Discussion Themes

Do you think the objection to random assignment is related to a sense that it is not “random?”

A potential solution to the “A/B effect” is to let patients be partners in improving healthcare by explaining that “we don’t know if A or B is better. Would you be willing to help us find out?”

Read Dr. Meyer and colleagues’ open access article in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (May 2019): Objecting to experiments that compare two unobjectionable policies or treatments.

Tags
#pctGR, @Collaboratory1