PCORI Help Center

Why doesn't this PFA allow comparison of two different surgical interventions? Why doesn’t this PFA allow comparison of two different nonsurgical interventions? Will other PFAs related to this topic be released?

The treatment and comparator arms specified in this PFA were selected after consultation with stakeholders representing a variety of disciplines and perspectives, including spine and orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, primary care physicians, physical therapists, patient organizations, and payers. While there are certainly other study approaches and interventions that would be worthwhile to address, we selected an approach that stakeholders were most enthusiastic about, considering multiple factors such as target population, inclusion/exclusion criteria, heterogeneity of the patient population, logistics of recruitment, generalizability, etc. While no further targeted PFAs related to low back pain are planned by PCORI at present, if pressing decisional needs remain high and important evidence gaps persist, it is certainly possible that one or more could be released at a future date.

For more information on past stakeholder meetings on this topic that were held in June 2015 and January 2016, please see the following links:

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