Improving Postpartum Maternal Outcomes for Populations Experiencing Disparities -– Cycle 2 2022

Funding Agency:
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) plans to reissue the Targeted PCORI Funding Announcement (Targeted PFA) on May 3, 2022, seeking to fund large randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and/or well-designed observational studies comparing multicomponent strategies to improve early detection of and timely care for complications up to six weeks postpartum for groups more often underserved or experiencing the greatest disparities in health outcomes, including Black, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN), Hispanic, rural, and low socioeconomic status (SES) populations. This preannouncement is provided to allow potential applicants additional time to identify collaborators; obtain stakeholder input on potential studies; and develop responsive, high-quality proposals.

The United States ranks lowest among high-income countries in parameters for maternal health, and 40 percent of US maternal mortality occurs during the first six weeks following delivery. Significant disparities for maternal outcomes have been reported for Black, AI/AN, Hispanic, rural, and low SES women. Although evidence-based treatments and care protocols exist for the prevention of severe postpartum maternal morbidity and mortality, postpartum care is typically limited, and evidence suggests that important warning signs may be missed or dismissed by patients as well as by clinicians and systems. Signs or symptoms may overlap with those of other conditions and with those of recovery from delivery. Patients and primary or emergency care clinicians also may be unaware of the importance of recent pregnancy status for the interpretation of some symptoms and may not discuss it, and patients experiencing complications in the hospital may not receive referrals to appropriate specialty care. In addition, systemic racism and bias (conscious and unconscious) affect access to and quality of care, and significant inequities persist in access to and availability of timely, appropriate, and respectful postpartum care.

Professional organizations, health systems, and clinicians have recommended and/or implemented various strategies to improve postpartum care and outcomes and to eliminate disparities and advance health equity. Such strategies may be designed to increase awareness and detection of postpartum complications by patients and clinicians, and/or to improve structural competence and overcome bias and inequities in postpartum care.

This Targeted PFA will solicit applications that respond to the following question:

What is the comparative effectiveness of multicomponent interventions to improve early detection of and timely care for risk factors for postpartum complications, and for complications during the first six weeks postpartum for Black, AI/AN, Hispanic, rural, and low SES patients? 

Deadline for Letter of Intent: June 1, 2022

Agency Website

Amount Description

Up to $5 million (small studies) or $15 million (large studies)

Funding Type





Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

June 1, 2022