depression. Specifically, she’s comparing an enhanced screening
and referral program with a personalized patient navigation
intervention to see which is more beneficial for easing
depression symptoms and improving quality of life.
In previous work, Poleshuck studied an interpersonal
psychotherapy intervention that was effective — but she found
that disappointingly few patients actually took advantage of it.
So before her current study, she and colleagues pulled together
a community advisory group of patients and providers to help
them better understand the barriers faced by women with
depression. The study is ongoing, but so far more patients
are signing up and sticking with the interventions. “It makes
me hopeful we’ve designed a study that is responding to the
[patients’] needs,” she says. “I really believe that incorporating
stakeholder input has made the difference.”
PCORI offers a variety of funding opportunities, both small
and large. For a list of the organization’s research priorities and
available awards, visit www.pcori.org/funding/opportunities.
Researchers are expected to meet established milestones to
ensure that projects are staying on track, and PCORI staff and
researchers stay in regular contact over the course of a study.
The organization also offers webinars on topics designed to help
researchers do their best work, and organizes meetings to bring
together investigators from different projects to share ideas.
Breland-Noble advises applicants to keep patients’ needs
front and center while developing proposals. Involving patients
not only makes for better research, it also provides appealing
opportunities for psychologists, who are already experts at
engaging people from all walks of life, she says. “Psychologists
are in an amazing position to benefit from an organization
like PCORI because talking to people is what we do. That’s our
bread and butter.” n
For more information, visit pcori.org.
Kirsten Weir is a journalist in Minneapolis.