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IOM: Initial priorities for comparative effectiveness research

Adapted from the Institute of Medicine's Comparative Effectiveness ReportThe Institute of Medicine has recommended 100 priority projects (pdf) for stimulus-funded comparative effectiveness research. The priorities, which were requested as part of the stimulus package, are further subdivided into four quartiles based on priority level. Suggested actions range from reviews of current research to observational and experimental studies.

IOM explains how and why it distilled thousands of recommendations into a short list of priorities in a 12-page brief (pdf). The brief also includes the full list of priorities.

A few of the highest-tier priorities:

  • Compare the effectiveness of primary prevention methods, such as exercise and balance training, versus clinical treatments in preventing falls in older adults at varying degrees of risk.
  • Compare the effectiveness of various screening, prophylaxis, and treatment interventions in eradicating methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in communities, institutions, and hospitals.
  • Compare the effectiveness of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments in managing behavioral disorders in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in home and institutional settings.
  • Compare the effectiveness of imaging technologies in diagnosing, staging, and monitoring patients with cancer including positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT).
  • Compare the effectiveness of genetic and biomarker testing and usual care in preventing and treating breast, colorectal, prostate, lung, and ovarian cancer, and possibly other clinical conditions for which promising biomarkers exist.