February 21, 2019: Living Textbook Offers New Content on Design and Analysis of Pragmatic Clinical Trials

Members of the NIH Collaboratory’s Biostatistics and Study Design Core contributed 3 new sections to the Living Textbook exploring issues in the design and analysis of pragmatic clinical trials. The new sections offer insights into emerging issues in embedded pragmatic clinical trials and lessons learned from the NIH Collaboratory’s first round of Demonstration Projects.

  • The Designing to Avoid Identification Bias section addresses a type of selection bias that can occur in pragmatic clinical trials that use information from electronic health records to determine study population eligibility and in which the study intervention influences who undergoes screening or receives a diagnosis in clinical care.
  • The Alternative Cluster Randomized Designs section describes alternative design choices for cluster randomized trials and their implications for statistical power and sample size calculations. Modified cluster randomized designs, such as cluster randomization with crossover, may reduce the sample size required for a pragmatic clinical trial and may be particularly feasible in trials embedded in healthcare systems with electronic health records.
  • Case Study: STOP CRC Trial explores challenges in design and analysis that were faced in the Strategies and Opportunities to Stop Colorectal Cancer in Priority Populations (STOP CRC) trial, one of the NIH Collaboratory Demonstration Projects. The case study illustrates how the study team dealt with pragmatic issues during the planning and conduct of the trial.

In addition to contributing content to the Living Textbook, the Biostatistics and Study Design Core works with the NIH Collaboratory Demonstration Projects to address challenges in their statistical plans and study designs during the planning phase and to develop guidance and technical documents related to study design and biostatistical issues relevant to pragmatic clinical trials.

January 18, 2019: Pragmatic Trials in End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD): HiLo (Myles Wolf, MD, MMSc)

Speaker

Myles Wolf, MD, MMSc
Charles Johnson, MD, Professor of Medicine
Chief, Duke Nephrology
Duke University School of Medicine

Topic

Pragmatic Trials in End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD): HiLo

Keywords

Pragmatic clinical trial; HiLo; End-stage renal disease; ESRD; Kidney disease; Hypophosphatemia; Serum phosphate; Hemodialysis; A vs B trials; Clinical equipoise; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; NIDDK

Key Points

  • With high event rates and few proven therapies, patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are in desperate need of clinical innovation.
  • The NIH Collaboratory’s HiLo Demonstration Project is a pragmatic, multicenter, cluster-randomized, open-label, noninferiority outcomes trial that will compare effects of two different phosphate management strategies in patients with ESRD.
  • The study hypothesizes that, compared with strict phosphate control, less stringent control will yield noninferior rates of all-cause hospitalization among patients with ESRD undergoing hemodialysis, as well as reduce the risk of all-cause mortality, enhance markers of diet and nutrition, and improve quality of life.

Discussion Themes

Dialysis clinic dieticians will have a pivotal role in implementing HiLo. They have established a rapport with patients and are among the most motivated caregivers on dialysis teams.

Individual patient-level informed consent for the HiLo trial will be via internet-linked tablets, paper forms, and educational materials including a video. Benefits of obtaining consent include promoting adherence, direct study updates and newsletters to participants, and ability to collect additional data without involving onsite study staff.

HiLo will be the first definitive clinical trial-grade evidence for opinion-based guidelines for phosphate management. Thus, results of HiLo have the potential to rapidly influence ESRD clinical practice.

Read more about the HiLo Demonstration Project in the Living Textbook.

Tags

#ESRD, #pctGR, @Collaboratory1, @DCRINews, @DukeKidney

January 22, 2019: New Self-Paced ePCT Training Course Available

The NIH Collaboratory is pleased to announce the availability of a new self-paced, 10-module introductory course on how to design, conduct, and disseminate embedded PCTs (ePCTs). This course presents condensed material from the inaugural ePCT Training Workshop held in 2018 and provides users with important things to know and do when designing an ePCT, along with helpful links to additional learning resources within the Living Textbook.

Also available in the Living Textbook are links to videocast workshops hosted by the NIH on a range of ePCT topics including:

  • Embedded PCTs of therapeutic A versus B interventions
  • Unique opportunities for disseminating, implementing, and sustaining evidence-based practices into clinical care
  • Ethical and regulatory issues of PCTs

For these and other ePCT resources, visit the Training Resources webpage.

January 4, 2019: TRANSFORMing Research for Patients With Heart Failure (Robert Mentz, MD, Kevin Anstrom, PhD, Eric Eisenstein, DBA, Stephen Greene, MD, Eric Velazquez, MD)

Speakers

Robert J. Mentz, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Duke University School of Medicine

Kevin J. Anstrom, PhD
Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Director of Biostatistics, Duke Clinical Research Institute
Duke University School of Medicine

Eric Eisenstein, DBA
Associate Professor in Medicine
Duke University School of Medicine

Stephen J. Greene, MD
Fellow, Division of Cardiology and Duke Clinical Research Institute
Duke University School of Medicine

Eric J. Velazquez. MD, FACP, FACC, FASE, FAHA
Robert W. Berliner Professor of Medicine, Yale University
Chief, Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital
Physician-in-Chief, Heart and Vascular Center, Yale New Haven Health

Topic

TRANSFORMing Research for Patients With Heart Failure

Keywords

Pragmatic clinical trial; Heart failure; PRECIS-2; Hospitalization; TRANSFORM-HF; Clinical equipoise; Electronic health records; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Key Points

  • The traditional approach to conducting clinical trials is unsustainable in many respects, including operational complexities, low enrollment rates, high costs, and failure to leverage existing resources. Incorporating pragmatic elements in the design of trials may improve efficiencies and conduct.
  • TRANSFORM-HF is a pragmatic trial evaluating torsemide versus furosemide treatment for long-term clinical outcomes among patients hospitalized for heart failure. Study randomization is 1:1, and the primary endpoint is all-cause mortality.
  • Advantages of trials with pragmatic designs include real-world effectiveness; broad patient/provider groups; reduced number and complexity of visits; streamlined data collection; potential for faster results; and results that will be more generalizable.

Discussion Themes

The clinical question involving starting a treatment (Should we start with furosemide or torsemide?) versus switching a treatment (Should we attempt to switch patients from furosemide to torsemide?) would seem to lead to different study designs.

While the peer review process for funding TRANSFORM-HF was challenging and required modifying the approach, it ultimately led to a better design.

Read more about PRECIS-2 domains along the explanatory-pragmatic continuum of a clinical trial in the Living Textbook.

Tags

#HeartFailure, #pctGR, @Collaboratory1, @robmentz, @SJGreene_md, @YaleCardiology, @ericjvelazquez

December 7, 2018: Cluster Randomized Trials in Health Care Delivery Systems: Lessons from STIC2IT (Niteesh K. Choudhry, MD, PhD)

Speaker

Niteesh K. Choudhry, MD, PhD
Professor, Harvard Medical School
Executive Director, Center for Healthcare Delivery Sciences, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Topic

Cluster Randomized Trials in Health Care Delivery Systems: Lessons from STIC2IT

Keywords

STIC2IT; Pragmatic clinical trial; Learning health system; Cluster randomization; Medication adherence; Telepharmacy; Electronic health record; Stakeholder engagement

Key Points

  • STIC2IT, a pragmatic, cluster-randomized trial, evaluated a telepharmacy intervention to improve medication adherence for people with chronic diseases.
  • Pragmatic aspects of STIC2IT included outcomes assessed using routinely collected data, cluster randomization by physician practice, intention-to-treat analysis, and use of the EHR to collect research data.
  •  While medication adherence did improve in the STIC2IT intervention group, secondary clinical outcomes did not improve. Future trials within health systems should incorporate multilevel engagement across the health system, physicians and staff, and patients.

Discussion Themes

It is important to do ongoing outreach at the health system leadership level to ensure understanding and commitment to the study and keep providers aware of the trial. Study teams should be mindful of the priorities of their partner health system.

Using the EHR for research data required some upfront work building special modules and generating custom reports.

For more information on conducting PCTs in health delivery systems, visit the Living Textbook chapter on engaging stakeholders and building partnerships.

Tags

@Collaboratory1, #pctGR, #HarvardMed, #telepharmacy

November 16, 2018: Primary Palliative Care for Emergency Medicine (PRIM-ER) (Corita Grudzen, MD, MSHS)

Speaker

Corita R. Grudzen, MD, MSHS, FACEP
Vice Chair for Research
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Population Health
Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine
NYU School of Medicine

Topic

Primary Palliative Care for Emergency Medicine (PRIM-ER)

Keywords

PRIM-ER; Emergency department; Palliative care; Demonstration project; Pragmatic trial; Stepped-wedge study design; Clinical decision support; Best practice alerts; Advance care planning

Key Point

  • The PRIM-ER trial is a pragmatic, cluster-randomized, stepped wedge Demonstration Project that will implement primary palliative care in emergency medicine across a diverse group of 35 emergency departments (EDs).
  • PRIM-ER’s clinical decision support intervention is tailored to each ED site. The study aims to enable system, organizational, and provider change in the emergency department workflow.
  • The study team is identifying and preparing site champions by conducting communication skills training in serious illness for emergency physicians and staff using the EM Talk program.

Discussion Themes

It is important to consider sustainability of the intervention during the planning phase of the trial. Plan for staff turnover and how new staff will be educated and oriented to the intervention.

The volume and sophistication of best practice alerts (BPAs) received by physicians varies across U.S. emergency departments. Alert “fatigue” can be a concern.

For more information on the PRIM-ER Demonstration Project, visit the PRIM-ER website on the Living Textbook.

Tags

@Collaboratory1, #pctGR, #EmergencyMedicine

November 12, 2018: Participate in the NIH Office of Disease Prevention’s Research Expertise Survey

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) needs your help to enhance the quality of research supported by the NIH. The ODP is building a directory of experts in research methods and study designs that can help NIH Scientific Review Officers identify the most appropriate reviewers for NIH research applications. Adding your name and expertise to the directory is easy – simply share your methodological and content area expertise by filling out the ODP’s Prevention Research Expertise Survey (PRES).


 

The survey covers 7 areas related (but not limited) to prevention research:

  • Study Design Topics
  • Research Methods
  • Content Topics
  • Settings
  • Populations
  • Regions
  • Income Categories

The PRES takes approximately 15-25 minutes and is strictly voluntary. Based on your skill set and interest, NIH or Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) staff may invite you to serve as a peer reviewer for research applications, or you may be asked to sit on a panel, committee, or workgroup; or to speak at a seminar or workshop. Your responses and information will not be shared with anyone outside of HHS.

The ODP believes the participation of highly qualified methods experts will enhance the quality of peer review; improve the rigor, reproducibility, and impact of research supported by the NIH; and ultimately lead to stronger clinical practice, health policy, and community health programs.

The ODP is the lead office at the NIH responsible for assessing, facilitating, and stimulating research in disease prevention and disseminating the results of this research to improve public health. For more information about the ODP and its work, visit the ODP website.

Thank you in advance for taking the survey – your participation helps improve the rigor, impact, and value of research supported by the NIH.

November 2, 2018: EMBED Pragmatic Trial of User-Centered Clinical Decision Support to Implement Emergency Department-Initiated Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder (Ted Melnick, MD, Gail D’Onofrio, MD)

Speakers

Ted Melnick, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Program Director, ACGME Clinical Informatics Fellowship
Yale School of Medicine

Gail D’Onofrio, MD
Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine
Physician-in-Chief of Emergency Services Yale-New Haven Hospital

Topic

EMBED: Pragmatic Trial of User-Centered Clinical Decision Support to Implement Emergency Department-Initiated Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder

Keywords

EMBED; Embedded PCT; Pragmatic clinical trial; Opioid use disorder; Clinical decision support; Emergency department; Buprenorphine

Key Points

  • The EMBED pragmatic trial is evaluating a clinical decision support tool designed to automatically identify and facilitate management of eligible patients with opioid use disorder in the emergency department (ED).
  • From July 2016 to Sep 2017, there was a 30% increase in visits to the ED for opioid overdose (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 9, 2018).
  • With medication-assisted treatment, patients are 2 times more likely to be engaged in addiction treatment at 30 days.
  • EMBED’s user-centered design aims to streamline workflows, address barriers to adoption, embed ED-initiated buprenorphine into routine ED care, and optimize adoption, dissemination, implementation, and scalability.

Discussion Themes

Poor usability of health information technology (HIT) is major source of frustration for clinicians. Electronic health record usability is a fundamental barrier to implementation of evidence-based medicine.

The science of usability in healthcare is still in the early stages. The EMBED study wants to improve the HIT experience.

How much does the study rely on EHR data for outcomes, and how detailed are the pilot outcomes data requested from each system? How do you plan to verify the accuracy of those data?

For more information on treatment of opioid use disorder in the emergency department, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) website’s Initiating Buprenorphine Treatment in the Emergency Department.

Tags

@Ted_Melnick, @DonofrioGail, @yaleem2, @YaleMed, @Collaboratory1, #pctGR, #EmergencyMedicine

October 19, 2018: A New Path Forward for Using Decentralized Clinical Trials (Jeffry Florian, PhD, Annemarie Forrest, Penny Randall, MD, MBA)

Speakers

Jeffry Florian, PhD
Clinical Analyst, Office of New Drugs
FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER)

Annemarie Forrest
Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI)

Penny Randall, MD, MBA
VP and Global Therapeutic Head, CNS
IQVIA

Topic

A New Path Forward for Using Decentralized Clinical Trials

Keywords

Decentralized clinical trials; Telemedicine; Mobile health; Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative; FDA

Key Points

  • Decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) are defined as those executed through telemedicine, mobile, or local healthcare providers (HCPs), using procedures that vary from the traditional clinical trial model; for example, shipping investigational medical product directly to the trial participant.
  • DCTs are not “all or nothing.” They exist in a broad continuum and can expand the reach of traditional clinical trial sites.
  • Potential benefits of DCTs apply to all trials in all disease areas but may offer particular advantages in rare diseases, where patients are generally limited in number or are highly geographically dispersed.
  • Mobile HCP training is similar to that required for standard investigative sites: Good clinical practice, protocol-specific training, human subject protections, data protection, and clinical trial billing.

Discussion Themes

Will a decentralized trial lead to less diverse patient populations as participants will need to be technology literate and have access to technology?

Decentralized clinical trial safety monitoring plans should not be held to a higher standard than with traditional trials unless merited by a particular circumstance. It is important to develop protocol-specific safety monitoring and communication escalation plans.

Download CTTI’s recommendations for decentralized clinical trials.

Tags

#telemedicine #pctGR, @PCTGrandRounds, @Collaboratory1, @CTTI_Trials @IQVIA_global @US_FDA

October 1, 2018: Meeting Minutes from NIH Collaboratory’s Ethics and Regulatory 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 Ethics and Regulatory Core, NIH staff, and NIH Collaboratory Coordinating Center personnel as well as some IRBs responsible for oversight of the projects.