Comments to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality re Library of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Resources

May 7, 2018

Gail Makulowich
Office of Communications
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
5600 Fishers Lane, 07N104B, Rockville, MD 20857

Re: Request for Information: Library of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Resources

Dear Ms. Makulowich:

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the "Academy") appreciates the opportunity to submit comments to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services related to the request for information (RFI) on its "Library of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Resources" published in the Federal Register on May 11, 2018. Representing over 104,000 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs);1 nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered (NDTRs); and advanced-degree nutritionists, the Academy is the largest association of food and nutrition professionals in the United States and is committed to accelerating improvements in global health and well-being through food and nutrition. Our members conduct and apply cutting-edge research related to food, nutrition, and dietetics for individuals across the lifecycle through work in various settings such as universities, academic research centers, governmental departments, non-profit research agencies, and the food industry.

The Academy strongly supports the Library of PCOR Resources and suggests that to the degree possible, page designers should consider the feasibility of organizing the content in a less dense and more visual manner so that viewers can understand the breadth and depth of available resources without having to scan more than one-thousand words of content.

Proffered Questions

1. What was your first impression of the Library of PCOR Resources?

The landing page is very content- and word-dense. We believe it could benefit from a more visual representation of the variety and potential utility of the listed resources, specifically something that is designed to help the viewer immediately understand the breadth and depth of resources available that may improve the chances of them being perused and used.

2. What do you like the most?

For non-academic users, the search strategy advice provided before listing each resource will likely be quite helpful. In addition, linking to each resource to ensure up-to-date content seems wise.

3. What do you like the least?

The viewer has to do quite a bit of reading to understand how each resource may be of use to them. We also note that the site does little to categorize resources (e.g., according to which stakeholders it may be of most use to, or by type of resource) or to expedite viewers' reading via use of bulleted points (e.g., of each resources target audience, purpose, and content).

4. How can AHRQ improve these pages?

The Academy suggests that AHRQ could consider having a landing page with a much briefer synopsis or visual organization of the listed resources that could link to subpages or tabs that contain more detail on each resources. In so doing, the viewer could get an overarching and then more specific understanding of the available resources rather than having all content on a single, dense page.

5. Overall, how easy is it to find what you need on these pages?

The bolding of each resource title is helpful in this regard, but we note that someone not already familiar with these resources might have to do a lot of reading to discern which of them could be of use for their work.

6. Are the materials available through the Library of PCOR Resources useful?

The cited materials are definitely useful and convening them on a single page that people could bookmark is a great idea.

B. Conclusion

The Academy appreciates the opportunity to comment on the RFI and we look forward to working with you on this issue in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact either Jeanne Blankenship at 312/899-1730 or by email at or Pepin Tuma at 202/775-8277, ext. 6001 or by email at with any questions or requests for additional information.


Jeanne Blankenship, MS, RDN
Vice President
Policy Initiatives and Advocacy
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Pepin Andrew Tuma, Esq.
Senior Director
Government & Regulatory Affairs
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

1 The Academy approved the optional use of the credential "registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN)" by "registered dietitians (RDs)" to more accurately convey who they are and what they do as the nation's food and nutrition experts. The RD and RDN credentials have identical meanings and legal trademark definitions.