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Developing New Clinical Decision Support to Disseminate and Implement Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Findings (R18): Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are derived from individual questions submitted to about the Request for Applications (RFA) PA-16-282: Developing New Clinical Decision Support to Disseminate and Implement Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Findings (R18)  and are shared here for all potential applicants. We encourage applicants to review all replies and to monitor this site for newly added questions and answers.


A. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
B. Determining Suitability of the Theme, Projects, or Research Ideas for Submission

A. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Question A1: What is patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR), and where can I find examples of PCOR findings?

Answer A1: PCOR is comparative clinical effectiveness research of the impact on health outcomes of two or more preventive, diagnostic, treatment, or health care delivery approaches. This definition comes from section 6301(a) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. PCOR produces not only clinical findings (e.g., diuretics are superior to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and calcium channel blockers in treating high blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular events), but also evidence about the effectiveness of health care delivery. Examples of PCOR findings can be found in, but are not limited to, the following places:

Question A2: Are there any additional resources for PCOR findings?

Answer A2: AHRQ maintains a comprehensive Web library of PCOR resources compiled by public, private, nonprofit, and academic sources. The library of resources includes PCOR findings and evidence-based tools that have appeared in the published literature as well as studies and projects that are in progress. However, this FOA requires that all proposed projects incorporate at least one government-funded PCOR finding or study; applicants are responsible for vetting the PCOR findings and verifying the funding source.

Question A3: How do I know if my proposed CDS research is based on a PCOR finding?

Answer A3: Applicants are responsible for demonstrating that the proposed project is based on at least one government-funded study and is PCOR-focused; the proposal should clearly describe the PCOR finding or study, linked to the supporting evidence (citations).

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B. Determining Suitability of the Theme, Projects, or Research Ideas for Submission

Question B1: How can applicants determine if their planned approach is a good fit for this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?

Answer B1: Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the entire FOA closely, including its explicitly stated objectives and review criteria.  Applicants should be aware that AHRQ will determine responsiveness based solely on the FOA.

Question B2: Can applicants discuss the scientific and research aspects of their proposals with AHRQ staff?

Answer B2: AHRQ appreciates all expressions of interest from prospective applicants. Applicants should read the FOA closely, including its review criteria; this is the best available guidance to potential applicants about the responsiveness of their planned research.

Applicants who have specific questions after reviewing the FOA can email them to For reasons of equity and consistency, AHRQ scientific staff responds in writing to all inquiries. Wherever it is possible and appropriate, AHRQ will clarify common areas of uncertainty in a written and generalized format that is applicable for dissemination to other potential applicants, such as frequently asked questions. Telephone counseling on potential study ideas is discouraged in order to be equitable and to avoid potential misdirection of applicants.

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Page last reviewed July 2016
Page originally created July 2016


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