News & Events

CERTAIN Approved for $945K Funding Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

CERTAIN has been approved for a $944,999 funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study patient engagement in research prioritization activities. The study is one of 33 proposals PCORI approved for funding on July 29 to advance the field of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and provide patients, healthcare providers, and other clinical decision makers with information that will help them make better-informed choices.

Dr. Danielle Lavallee will lead the research project at CERTAIN. The study will help inform researchers on how surveys, focus groups, and online methods compare for involving patients 65 years and older in research prioritization activities around low back pain. Ultimately this information will improve our ability to conduct high-quality research that is relevant to patients and improves healthcare outcomes.

Dr. Lavallee explains, “Involvement of patients in our research efforts is critical to make sure the questions asked are relevant and will yield evidence that will help guide patient and clinician decision-making. I am excited to work with such a great team to explore ways we can reach out to patients with low back pain to learn about what questions they feel are most important for us to find answers to.”

The award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract to CERTAIN.

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund CER that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

“This project was selected for PCORI funding not only for its scientific merit, but also for its potential to fill an important gap in our ability to conduct high-quality patient-centered comparative effectiveness research using rigorous methods,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. “We look forward to following the study’s progress and working with CERTAIN to share the results.”

Dr. Lavallee’s study and the other projects approved for funding by PCORI’s Board of Governors on July 29 were selected from 325 applications submitted to PCORI's funding announcements issued in September 2013. They were selected through a highly competitive review process in which patients, clinicians, and other stakeholders joined clinical scientists to evaluate the proposals. Applications were assessed for scientific merit, how well they will engage patients and other stakeholders, and their methodological rigor among other criteria.

PCORI has awarded nearly $549 million to support 313 studies and initiatives since it began funding research in 2012. For more information about PCORI funding, visit To learn more about CERTAIN’s award and study, visit

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  • CERTAIN Medical Director Dr. David Flum on The Conversation with Ross Reynolds 4/11/12: listen here.