Two faculty receive $1.6 million for patient-centered research
Contact: Sheila Hotchkin, 210-567-3026
SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 19, 2013) — The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently funded two research awards totaling $1.6 million to faculty investigators in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Dr. Turner’s project will take place over 30 months. She will be comparing two approaches to involving communities in health research.
One approach will be tested in Frio County and a separate one in Karnes County. The South Central Area Health Education Center and the UT School of Public Health are key collaborators in the project.
Dr. Turner is director of the Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) Center, a collaboration of the UT Health Science Center, University Health System and the UT School of Public Health.
Engaging the community in research questions
“Community members are not usually partners with researchers in identifying important research questions and evaluating how research can relate to their own real-world care,” Dr. Turner said. “We will evaluate novel ways to engage the community in addressing an important public health problem, chronic low back pain, focusing on gaining input from Latino patients and caregivers. Our predominant Latino population has much to contribute to meaningful research but has not to date collaborated on the development of research initiatives. We aim to correct that.”
The chronic low-back-pain project will test purposive sampling and respondent-driven sampling.
Dr. Velligan’s mental health research
Dr. Velligan’s whose $928,845-study is for three years, is involved in running a 90-day transitional care clinic for patients with serious mental illness who are leaving the hospital. The goal is to smooth the transition to outpatient treatment and prevent repeated rehospitalizations or emergency room visits.
Her grant will be used to examine two approaches to transitional treatment to see which is more effective: a more traditional model versus an approach that increases patient engagement and emphasizes shared decision-making between patient and health care provider.
Successful transition to outpatient care
“We created the transitional clinic because the hospital readmission rate for serious mental illness was so high in Bexar County,” Dr. Velligan said. “People end up using the emergency room as their primary care doctor for mental health. Our clinic is intended to take care of people until we can connect them with services in our community.”
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765.2 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.
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