The National Eczema Association (NEA) and the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA) have been approved for a $250,000 funding award through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards program, an initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

The award will support a project titled “Making it Count: Using Gamification to Enhance Childhood Eczema PCOR and CER.” Working as equal partners, NEA and PeDRA will launch a series of virtual and in-person activities to drive education and engagement of patients, families, and researchers around the management of childhood eczema and the conduct of meaningful patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research.

Many US children under the age of 18 are affected by eczema, with reportedly one-third of them affected by moderate-to-severe disease. Despite recent therapeutic advances, the burdens on these patients and their families can be significant, and many important research questions remain unanswered. The already strong partnership between NEA and PeDRA has evolved as activities in the field have increased and, in addition to the award from PCORI, includes the co-funded Childhood Eczema Challenge Grant, which is entering its third annual cycle in 2022.

Educational Curriculum Collaboration

The PCORI Engagement Award will be run under the direction of Co-Project Lead and PeDRA Executive Director Michael Siegel, PhD, and Co-Project Lead and NEA VP of Scientific and Clinical Affairs Wendy Smith Begolka, MBS. Over the course of the 2-year award period, NEA and PeDRA will collaborate on a novel virtual educational curriculum directed at a diverse stakeholder audience and gamified approach to learner engagement. It will include real-world activities at the planned in-person Eczema Expo and PeDRA Annual Conference, and virtual education using the NEA Research Ambassador platform and PeDRA Research App.    

“We are so excited to be embarking on this important project with PeDRA and grateful for the support from PCORI. The project will be carried out at an opportune time, as the list of FDA-approved eczema treatments is growing, and the need for research to support informed decision-making and direct future research investments is becoming increasingly important.”

— Julie Block, president and CEO of NEA

Near-term goals of the award include increasing competence in patient-centered outcomes research and knowledge of emerging pediatric eczema therapies for the patient and researcher communities. The project’s long-term goal is to influence research that supports shared decision-making for patients and health care providers and to improve quality of life and long-term health outcomes for patients. In pursuing these goals, the award directly furthers the missions and strategic priorities of both NEA and PeDRA. 

[Source(s): National Eczema Association, PR Newswire]