Vanderbilt School of Nursing Approved for a $250,000 Engagement Award for Project on Overcoming Barriers to Patient- and Family-Centered Comparative Effectiveness Research

A team at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has been approved for a $250,000 funding award through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards program, an initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The funds will support identifying and disseminating strategies for overcoming barriers to patient- and family-centered comparative effectiveness research with patients who are critically ill and hospitalized in an intensive care unit setting.

Woman with blonde hair and glasses looking at the cameraIndependence Foundation Professor of Nursing Education Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP, FNAP, MCCM, is project lead and Professor Marianna LaNoue, PhD is co-project lead. The researchers from the VUSN Center for Research Development and Scholarship will work collaboratively with a team from the Society of Critical Care Medicine, a health professions organization with over 16,000 members from more than 100 countries; it is the largest nonprofit medical organization dedicated to promoting excellence in the practice of critical care.

“The project team will work with a patient and family member stakeholder advisory board to develop an open access website toolkit to strengthen skills for implementing patient-centered research along the continuum of critical illness,” Kleinpell said. “Engaging patients, families and caregivers in patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research during and after a critical illness is essential to ensure that research questions that matter are being asked, and that outcomes that matter are being measured.”

Smiling woman with green leaves in the backgroundThe project, “Addressing Barriers to Engaging Patient & Caregivers Experiencing Critical Illness to Build Capacity for Patient Centered Outcomes Research,” will use group concept mapping to gather input from patients, family members, health care clinicians, researchers and others to identify ways to overcome barriers to patient-oriented clinical research.

It is part of a portfolio of projects that PCORI has funded to help develop a community of patients and other stakeholders equipped to participate as partners in comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and disseminate PCORI-funded study results. Through the Engagement Award Program, PCORI is creating an expansive network of individuals, communities and organizations interested in and able to participate in, share, and use patient-centered clinical effectiveness research.

According to Greg Martin, PCORI’s Acting Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer, “This project was selected for Engagement Award funding because it will build a community equipped to participate as partners in CER and develop partnerships and infrastructure to disseminate PCORI-funded research results. We look forward to working with Vanderbilt University School of Nursing throughout the course of their two-year project.”

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s 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 objectives, as well as program criteria. For more information about PCORI’s funding to support engagement efforts, visit

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence 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.