Dr. Jerry Jarvik and colleagues have published an article in Contemporary Clinical Trials describing the design of the Lumbar Imaging With Reporting of Epidemiology (LIRE) pragmatic cluster randomized trial. LIRE is one of the NIH Collaboratory’s pragmatic clinical trial Demonstration Projects, which are intended to help establish proof of concept for pragmatic trial designs.
LIRE is studying the effect of inserting epidemiologic benchmarks for common imaging findings into lumbar spine imaging reports being delivered to primary care physicians. The primary goal is to measure whether the intervention reduces subsequent spine-related tests and treatments. All outcomes are captured passively through the electronic health record. The authors state that if successful, such a low-cost intervention could potentially be applied to diagnostic tests for other conditions. LIRE has a projected sample size of more than 160,000 patients across an estimated >2000 primary care physicians at 4 health systems. Enrollment will continue through 2016.
“LIRE is a pragmatic cluster randomized trial of a minimal-risk intervention that we believe can serve as a model for future pragmatic trials.”
(Jarvik JG, et al. Contemp Clin Trials 2015)