Georgetown and Children’s Hospital Receive PCORI Grant to Study ADHD, Autism Treatment

Posted in News Release

WASHINGTON– The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has awarded Children’s National Medical Center and Georgetown’s Center for Child and Human Development (a part of Georgetown University Medical Center) a three-year $1.79 million award to study a new behavioral treatment for low-income children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder.

Bruno Anthony, PhD, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and director of research for the Center for Child and Human Development, will lead the research on Georgetown’s end, along with Vivian Jackson, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics and Matthew Biel, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry. In collaboration with researchers at Children’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders,they’ll study a new cognitive behavioral treatment for improving executive function in children with ADHD and autism. Executive function describes the regulation of emotions, behaviors and thinking.

The project is part of the PCORI Addressing Disparities program and targets school-aged children from low-income families at schools in Washington, DC and northern Virginia. 

“Poverty is linked to increased executive functioning problems, as well as reduced access to care for people with ADHD or autism,” Anthony says. “This project addresses the disparity of fewer choices and poorer outcomes for low-income children with ADHD and autism. We’ll be comparing the effectiveness of the best standard therapy with a new treatment to see which works best for underserved children. With PCORI’s support for this study, we can provide access to a unique, low cost, accessible school-based intervention, which is more likely to be applied in other settings.”

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorizedby Congress in 2010 to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions.

This project was selected for funding “not only for its scientific merit but also for its potential to fill an important gap in our health knowledge and ultimately help patients and those who care for them make more fully informed decisions about their care,” PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH, said in a statement.

Awards are selected for funding by PCORI’s board of governors and are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, how well they engage patients and other stakeholders, their methodological rigor and how well they fit within PCORI’s national research priorities. This award and 70 others were approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health).  GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.”  The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.