Key Questions That Remain Unanswered & Their Implications for CER

When it comes to comparative effectiveness research (CER), NPC Chief Science Officer Dr. Robert Dubois notes that we’ve seen a lot of progress during the last two years. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is now funding a broad range of CER grants to answer a variety of research questions; patients are front and center in the CER conversation; and “big data” and real-world evidence are generating significant interest.

But, as Dr. Dubois points out in his latest From Methods to Policy column in the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research (JCER), there are a number of key questions that need to be addressed to ensure that CER will provide meaningful and credible information for health care decision-makers.  

In his column, Dr. Dubois asks:

  • Whether researchers will find common ground in when to use experimental study designs (eg, randomized controlled trials) or nonexperimental study designs (eg, observational studies);
  • If researchers will be able to agree on what good or “adequate and well-controlled” research studies look like; and
  • Whether electronic health record databases will provide the hoped for answers to many CER questions.

For a more in-depth look at these questions, read Dr. Dubois’ column, “Key Questions Remain Unanswered,” on the JCER website (log-in required).