Newly Funded Projects Aim to Improve Vaccine Use, Preventive Care in IBD

Newly Funded Projects Aim to Improve Vaccine Use, Preventive Care in IBD

Some $1 million in funding will go to three projects aimed at addressing gaps in vaccine use and communication among healthcare providers and patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Made possible through Pfizer Global Medical Grants (GMG), the recipients were announced by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). The GMG’s goal is to collaborate with the global healthcare community to improve patient outcomes.

“These projects were selected for their potential to overcome barriers by helping to identify and establish best practices around improving vaccine utilization and preventive health maintenance for patients with IBD,” said a news release by Francis A. Farraye, MD, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Boston Medical Center, and chair of the steering committee for the organizations’ partnership. “The selected projects also have the potential to be easily replicated, broadly disseminated, and widely adopted within the IBD community.”

The recipients are: 

Improving Vaccine Utilization and Preventive Health Maintenance in IBD. Led by Gil Y. Melmed, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the plan is to learn more about impediments to patient use of preventive care. To do this, the researcher will use patient focus groups and develop digital solutions, including an interactive website.

Designed to overcome patient barriers, interventions will be tested through the IBD Partners Patient-Powered Research Network.  Influenza vaccinations will be the chief focus, followed by pneumococcal and zoster vaccination recommendation uptake, and tests for bone conditions and skin cancer. 

If all goes well, the educational efforts will be included on sites such as You&IBD, IBD&Me, and IBD Partners.

Streamlining Preventive Health for Patients with IBD Through Effective Care Models, Evidence-based Guidelines, and Patient Engagement. Led by Miguel D. Regueiro, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, the project’s premise is that better education among patients and providers will lead to more IBD patient vaccinations and preventive measures.

The project will include 100 IBD patients who will undergo digital health coaching as a supplement to patient education, reinforcing the importance of necessary vaccinations. Follow-up will include checking for improved patient awareness of preventive health steps, as well as better communication with physicians and other providers.

Leveraging Digital Reporting and Shared Decision Making to Improve Vaccination and Preventive Health Maintenance in IBD. Ashish Atreja, MD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will lead the project aimed at creating and testing web-based measures to enhance IBD patient vaccination and preventive care levels.

Researchers hope to accomplish this by crafting a solution based on patient self-assessment, and making decisions along with doctors. The overall mission is to develop a web-based vaccination site as well as material for provider workshops. The content would be used by advocacy groups, IBD centers, patients and providers.

A steering committee of IBD experts and a patient selected the projects.