October 17, 2016
By Sydney DuPriest
OXFORD, Miss. – The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute granted a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award of $214,084 to a team of University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy researchers to support a project that aids patients’ self-management of diabetes.
The project, titled “PaRTICIpate in Diabetes Self-Management Research Collaborative: A Conference Series,” will build on research that shows improvement in the health of diabetes patients when they are able to self-manage their treatment. (The “PaRTICI” in “PaRTICIpate” stands for “Patient Centered Research to Improve Community Involvement.”) Meagen Rosenthal, assistant professor of pharmacy administration, will lead the project, along with Erin Holmes, associate professor of pharmacy administration, and Donna West-Strum, chair of the pharmacy administration department.
The researchers will invite people with diabetes from three north Mississippi towns – Oxford, Charleston and Saltillo – to regular meetings in an effort to connect them with physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other stakeholders in a nonclinical environment to talk about where they struggle with diabetes self-management. Together, they will brainstorm patient-centered research questions aimed at improving strategies for diabetes self-management.
“Traditionally, people with diabetes have been the receivers of information about how they can better manage their condition,” Rosenthal said. “This project is designed to turn people with diabetes from receivers of information to the generators of information. We will ask people specifically about areas where they struggle with diabetes self-management and use that information to develop research projects that specifically target those concerns.”
The state of Mississippi has the second-highest rate of adults with type 2 diabetes in the nation. This prevalence is a major concern for pharmacists and one of the reasons for the study.
“Through these discussions, we hope to develop new research projects that matter to patients,” Rosenthal said. “These projects will develop evidence that is meaningful to people with diabetes, making the research more likely to be adopted and used to improve their health.”
The project is one in a portfolio of projects approved for PCORI funding to help develop a skilled community of patients and other stakeholders from across the entire health care enterprise and to involve them meaningfully in every aspect of PCORI’s work.
“This project was selected for Engagement Award funding not only for its commitment to engaging patients and other stakeholders, but also for its potential to increase the usefulness and trustworthiness of the information we produce and facilitate its dissemination and uptake,” said Jean Slutsky, PCORI’s chief engagement and dissemination officer. “We look forward to following the project’s progress and working with the UM School of Pharmacy to share the results.”
The UM School of Pharmacy project and the other projects approved for funding by the PCORI Engagement Award program were selected through a highly competitive review process in which applications were assessed for their ability to meet PCORI’s engagement goals and program criteria. PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization that funds comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, caregivers and clinicians with evidence needed to make better-informed health care decisions.