The thematic focus of the PaCER Program is to prepare researchers to bring together constructs of Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) and Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) in order to conduct patient-centered studies on decision support along the continuum of cancer care. The Program focuses on preparing new researchers to conduct studies that compare alternative methods of providing patients with decision support in cancer prevention, screening, treatment, end-of-life care, and clinical trials. The Program is consistent with the Patient Centered Outcomes Research paradigm, as it seeks to help patients and their caregivers become more involved in research that matters to patients, focuses attention on patient preferences and values related to important health care decisions, and promotes the development of approaches that encourage shared decision making.
Short-term outcomes of the Center for Health Decisions and PaCER Program will include researcher training and mentoring, completing patient-centered CER studies, and disseminating research findings locally, regionally, and nationally. In the longer term, the Center and PaCER Program will train new researchers in PCOR and CER, help researchers to develop and carry out new patient-centered CER studies, and plan intervention implementation in clinical practices and health care systems.