Public Perceptions of Comparative Effectiveness Research and Use of Evidence in Healthcare Decision-Making

Publisher: Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, vol. 3, no. 6
Dec 30, 2014
Derekh Cornwell, Mindy Hu, and Dominick Esposito

Key Findings:

  • Members of the public have little to no familiarity with the meaning of comparative effectiveness research (CER).
  • Members of the general public think of certain CER concepts, such as quality of care, differently than most policymakers and researchers.
  • Consumers who are actively engaged in their health care decision making value information from research more highly than those who are passive.
  • Passive health care consumers do not always expect providers to have knowledge of currently research evidence but rely heavily on providers to make health decisions.  

This study elaborates on the public’s understanding of comparative effectiveness research (CER) or patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR), attitudes toward CER/PCOR, and use of evidence in health care decision making.

Materials & methods: We conducted six focus groups with the general public—three with individuals actively engaged in health care decision making and three with individuals more passive in their approach.

Results: The general public has little knowledge of CER/PCOR, and its perceptions of certain CER/PCOR concepts are inconsistent with those of researchers and policymakers. Active health care consumers value information more than passive consumers and are likely to use evidence in decision making.

Conclusion: Providers are an important source for disseminating and communicating CER/PCOR evidence to active and passive consumers.  

Senior Staff

Derekh Cornwell
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