Making Comparisons so Patients Can Make Better Decisions

By: Allison Hydzik and Tim Betler

Sally Morton, Ph.D., director of the University of Pittsburgh Comparative Effectiveness Research Center, explains that the center makes the patient the focus of studies investigating “what works best, for whom and under what circumstances.” This type of research seeks to improve health care by comparing different clinical treatment approaches in order to help patients decide what care is best for them.
Established in 2011, Pitt’s Comparative Effectiveness Research Center has emerged as a national leader in its field, helping Pitt and UPMC receive research funding totaling more than $50 million. Most recently the center helped secure a $14 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to compare approaches to treat acute lower back pain before it becomes chronic pain.