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NCCIH Research Blog

The NIH Collaboratory Launches a New Resource on Methods and Best Practices for Pragmatic Clinical Trials

November 3, 2017

Catherine Meyers, M.D.

Catherine Meyers, M.D.


Office of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

The NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory, an NIH Common Fund project, has been supporting nine large-scale pragmatic clinical trials in partnership with health care systems around the United States. NCCIH and NIA have been leading the Collaboratory program, and NCCIH staff have previously blogged about its progress. Since its initiation in 2012, the collective experience of conducting pragmatic clinical trials in a variety of settings has generated much useful information for planning future studies. The NIH Collaboratory Coordinating Center at Duke University recently launched The Living Textbook, a researcher-friendly compendium of information for the design, planning, and implementation of pragmatic clinical trials, based on the expert consensus of researchers involved in the Collaboratory.

Rethinking Clinical Trials: A Living Textbook contains a wealth of new information about pragmatic clinical trials at each stage of the research process. It includes:

  • 12 detailed chapters with insight on pragmatic trials;
  • Real-world examples from the NIH Collaboratory pragmatic trials;
  • Information on best practices for designing and conducting pragmatic trials;
  • Strategies for disseminating and implementing evidence from pragmatic trials;
  • Descriptions of unique challenges, and solutions, of pragmatic trials;
  • Explanations of the importance of pragmatic trials and their impact on health care;
  • Resources and references to help guide pragmatic trials; and
  • Comprehensive information about the NIH Collaboratory program, including its demonstration projects, core working groups, and news and events.

Many NIH Institutes and Centers, including NCCIH, are interested in supporting pragmatic clinical trials conducted in partnership with health care systems, and this resource provides an overview of many unique aspects of pragmatic trials at a single website.

If you have an interest in pragmatic clinical trials, do take time to review Rethinking Clinical Trials: A Living Textbook and provide us with feedback on the new resource.


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