UCSF Identifies Barriers to Comparative Effectiveness Research

In the winter and spring of 2011 we conducted a needs assessment for comparative effectiveness research (CER) at UCSF.  The needs assessment was conducted using key informant interviews with 19 investigators and an internet-based survey distributed to the UCSF CER listserv and other investigators. Four major issues emerged as barriers to investigators conducting and receiving funding for CER-related projects:
  • Difficulty identifying potential collaborators at UCSF
  • Lack of methodologic expertise in CER, and difficulty accessing people with such expertise
  • Uncertainty about funding opportunities
  • Access to datasets and cohort identification and data collection tools
These barriers provide a roadmap for future CTSI-led initiatives to expand capacity for CER at UCSF.  Initiatives currently being developed to address these barriers include interactive web-based tools (including an expansion of UCSF Profiles and development of CER-focused wikis), a symposium designed to facilitate collaborations and networking around CER, and efforts to direct investigators to existing resources such as CELDAC and the Participant Recruitment Service.