AIR supports the AHRQ-funded John M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science in turning comparative effectiveness research into practical information for decision making. AIR conducts research through focus groups and interviews with target audiences—for example, clinicians, consumers, and policymakers—to identify key messages, decision points, and user needs to develop materials based on comparative effectiveness reviews. AIR also evaluates draft materials for: 1) how well the content is understood by participants; 2) wording, formatting, or display problems; and 3) motivational or sensitivity problems; and conducted in-depth cognitive testing to evaluate draft materials for readability and usefulness in treatment decisions.
Over seven years, the AIR team has conducted 300 individual interviews with clinicians, 310 individual interviews with consumers, and 17 focus groups with consumers to develop materials for more than 25 topics, including diabetes, high-blood pressure, traumatic brain injury and depression, autism, and preterm labor.
AIR also has worked with AHRQ to expand patient and consumer organization participation in the synthesis and dissemination of research evidence through AHRQ’s Effective Health Care (EHC) program activities.
During each year of the project, AIR has planned, organized, and facilitated an annual two-day meeting for patients and consumer representatives from the 15 selected organizations with the goal of expanding interest and participation in patient-centered outcomes research and, in subsequent years, sharing lessons learned about stakeholder engagement in the EHC Program. In addition to the annual activities, AIR created and cognitively tested a series of training modules based on real-world experience to engage patients and consumers in the EHC Program and interviewed patient and consumer representatives engaged in the EHC program and EHC staff to collect qualitative feedback on the engagement activities.