Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA receives award to study delivery of behavioral health services using telehealth

UCLA Health article

Dr. Tumaini R. Coker

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has approved a $1.6 million research award to the Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital to study the use of videoconferencing technology to deliver behavioral health services to pediatric patients in community primary care settings.

Dr. Tumaini R. Coker, assistant professor of pediatrics at UCLA, will lead the research. The project will focus on the integration of developmental, behavioral, and mental health services into pediatric primary care using live videoconferencing technology.  This study will examine whether using this telehealth technology can be an effective, efficient, and family-centered way to provide these integrated services to children in low-income communities.

"One of the key strengths of this project will be the emphasis on the partnership between UCLA researchers,  the community clinics and the families to develop and test this strategy to bring behavioral health services into the primary care setting using live videoconferencing visits," said Coker.

The project brings together UCLA researchers from general pediatrics, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, the UCLA/RAND Prevention Research Center and the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society to work in partnership with Northeast Valley Health Corporation, one of the nation's largest community health centers.

The study is part of a portfolio of patient-centered research that addresses PCORI's national research priorities and will provide patients with information that will help them make better informed decisions about their care.

"This project reflects PCORI's commitment to support patient-centered comparative effectiveness research, a new approach to health research that emphasizes the inclusion of patients and caregivers at all stages of the study process," added Dr. Joe Selby, executive director of PCORI. "The research will provide patients and those who care for them better information about the healthcare decisions they face."

The UCLA study is one of 51 projects totaling more than $88.5 million approved for funding by PCORI's Board of Governors on May 6. All were selected through a highly competitive review process in which scientists, patients, caregivers, and other stakeholders helped to evaluate more than 400 applications for funding. Proposals were 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.

The PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

For more information Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, visit

For more information on the Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, visit

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