Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 3/2/2022

Applying Patient-Reported Outcomes in Oncology Patient Care Using Quality Improvement and Implementation Science Strategies

The PROTEUS Consortium (Patient-Reported Outcomes Tools: Engaging Users & Stakeholders) and Pfizer Global Medical Grants are collaborating to offer a grant funding opportunity to support the use of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in clinical practice to improve the monitoring and management of patients with cancer. Funding can be used to implement new, or improve existing, PROM initiatives. Grantees will participate with one another, and PROTEUS Consortium members, in a Learning Health Network.

Grants will support applying quality improvement and/or implementation science strategies targeting the use of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in oncology clinical practice, goals aligned with the objectives of the PROTEUS Consortium and the Pfizer Global Medical Grants program. This grant opportunity focuses specifically on the use of individual cancer patient PROMs to inform their monitoring and management. Use of aggregated PROM data for quality evaluations or pay-for-performance are outside the scope of this opportunity. Researchers seeking funding for clinical research projects will also not be considered under this request for proposals (RFP). 

PROs capture how patients feel, function, live their lives, and survive.1,2 They include outcomes such as symptoms, functional status, well-being, and health-related quality of life reported directly by the patient without interpretation by a clinician or anyone else.3,4 Standardized and validated PRO measures (PROMs) are used to assess PROs. Increasingly, PROMs are being collected systematically to assess individual patients’ status to monitor how patients are doing and inform their care.

Research suggests that this use of PROMs in cancer care can provide benefits, including promoting patient-clinician communication, assisting with problem detection, influencing management, and improving outcomes such as symptom control, health-related quality of life, and functioning.10-15 Recent studies have shown a survival benefit associated with use of PROMs in clinical practice for patients with advanced cancer.

While evidence supports the potential effectiveness of PROMs in practice, a number of barriers to broad implementation are also evident. These barriers include operational challenges (e.g., data collection strategies, integration with workflow, incorporation into the health record), difficulties interpreting the meaning of PROM scores, questions regarding how to act on the PROM results, and the culture changes required in the clinical practice for successful PROM use. 

The intent of this RFP is to support proposals to use PROMs in routine oncology clinical practice to inform individual patient monitoring and management. Proposals should apply quality improvement or implementation science strategies, or both. Successful proposals will promote the implementation and/or the quality of PROMs used in oncology clinical practice with a focus on individual-patient care. While we expect that most applicants will use electronic PRO (ePRO) interventions, interventions that use non-electronic (e.g., paper) PRO assessments will be considered if there is an appropriate justification. Grantees will participate in a Learning Health Network, along with PROTEUS Consortium members. This Learning Health Network will provide a forum for grantees and other PROTEUS Consortium members to share experiences and lessons learned regarding PROM clinical practice initiatives. The Network will meet virtually each month, and there will be an in-person meeting of the Network and Consortium in 2024. 

The RFP is intended to support quality improvement and implementation science projects, not primary research proposals. Further, the focus is on individual patient monitoring and management and not on other uses of PROs in the clinical setting (such as use of PROMs at the aggregate level for quality evaluations or pay-for-performance initiatives). 

• Only one Letter of Intent (LOI) per PI will be accepted.

• Typically, an institution or organization will be limited to one full proposal; institutions are encouraged to coordinate internally prior to LOI submission. Interested applicants from within Duke should contact fundopps@duke.edu as early as possible.

LOI due date:  April  28,  2022 

Eligibility Requirements

Geographic Scope Open to applicants in the United States.

• The applicant institution and principal investigator (PI) must be based in the United States; the PI must be affiliated with the applicant institution.

• Only organizations are eligible to receive grants, not individuals or small physician-owned practice groups.

• The applicant institution must be involved in patient care and may include Academic Cancer Centers, Healthcare Delivery Networks, and Community Cancer Centers or Hospitals; partnership with non-healthcare delivery organizations is acceptable.

• The applicant PI must have a medical or postdoctoral degree (MD, PhD, or equivalent), an advanced nursing degree (BSN with a MS/PhD), a degree in Psychology, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, or Social Work, or be in a health administration position with a key role in the implementation of PROMs in clinical practice.

• A multidisciplinary team with expertise aligned with the proposal objectives, including involvement of patient partners, is encouraged.

• Only one Letter of Intent (LOI) per PI will be accepted.

• Typically, an institution or organization will be limited to one full proposal; institutions are encouraged to coordinate internally prior to LOI submission. 

Amount Description

  Individual projects  requesting  up  to  $150,000  to  be  spent over  2  years  will be considered.  The  total  available budget  related  to  this  RFP  is  $1.5 million  USD. 

Funding Type