Improving the promise of embedded pragmatic trials: Surmountable barriers encountered in an evaluation of home-based HPV self-sampling to increase cervical cancer screening in overdue women

D. S.M. Buist, Jasmin A Tiro, C. Thayer, T. Beatty, D. L. Miglioretti, J. Lin, R. L. Winer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Despite increased attention on how to conduct pragmatic trials and their importance, there remains an under-appreciation for the reality of what they take to design, compete and secure funding and execute. Many barriers are surmountable through increased exposure to experiences from completed trials. This report summarizes our experience in designing, securing funding and implementing the Home-Based Options to Make screening Easier (HOME) pragmatic trial, which was designed to evaluate home human papillomavirus testing for cervical cancer screening in underscreened women (women who had not received a cervical cancer screening test in ≥3.5 years). This report highlights factors at the level of research teams, organizations seeking to conduct embedded research, reviewers and funding agencies that challenge pragmatic trial design and execution. There is an urgent need to train on peer-reviewers how to evaluate embedded trial grant proposals, for agencies to pursue more rapid and innovative funding strategies, and to consider strategies for reviewers and funders to evaluate stakeholder buy-in (beyond letters of support). These factors together are needed to realize the promise of pragmatic trials to more efficiently and effectively generate critical data that inform changes in health care delivery and benefit patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100413
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials Communications
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2019



  • Clinical effectiveness research
  • Delivery system science
  • Dissemination
  • Health care delivery research
  • Implementation
  • Pragmatic clinical trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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