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Pediatric Practice Research Group

The Pediatric Practice Research Group (PPRG) is a well-established, regional practice-based research network founded in 1984 as a partnership of the Department of Pediatrics at Lurie Children’s and an enthusiastic group of over 50 pediatric practices.

PPRG is dedicated to understanding and promoting optimal child health and function through practice-based research in the primary care setting. Our network-based approach values excellence and innovation. Through our network of over 380 medical providers in the Chicago metropolitan area, PPRG determines best practices, delivers ongoing clinical education and evaluates outcomes relevant to our racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations.

PPRG operates within the Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Outcomes, Research and Evaluation Center of the Manne  Research Institute. In addition to our pediatric practice partners, PPRG also partners with the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS) through the Center for Community Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, which fosters linkages between community clinicians through its Practice Based Research Program (PBRP).

Partnering with the PPRG can help participants to stay on top of the latest research findings, develop research projects that will have an impact on the community researching topics that interest everyone, can help providers and academicians stay connected in areas of research, and fosters open participation and practice autonomy. Study design would be discussed with the practice and approved by the appropriate practice personnel.

Getting Involved with the PPRG

We frequently have new studies and grant opportunities to foster research partnerships between community and academic clinicians and research faculty members.

Pilot Project Research Opportunities

The aim of a pilot project is to develop research ideas and partnerships.

Primary Care Practice-based Research/Center for Community Health (CCH) Seed Grant Award

Studies Involving Participating Practices

Pilot Projects

Study Title: Identifying Current Practices and Attitudes on Patient Outcomes following Hospitalization for Severe Sepsis

Principal Investigators:

Objectives: To assess primary care providers’ current practices, knowledge, and attitudes about pediatric sepsis diagnosis, sepsis associated morbidity and mortality, and care management issues following hospital discharge and potential screening protocols to identify these issues. The long-term objective is to provide patients, families, and providers with the resources to detect and manage potential long-term problems related to sepsis. 

Study Title: Light Therapy for Depression in Adolescent Outpatients: A Pilot Study

Principal Investigators:

  • Rachel Ballard, MD, Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago 
  • Lisa Gadek, MD, Lake Forest Pediatrics
  • John Parkhurst, PhD, Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Dorothy Sit, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

Objectives: To conduct a pragmatic investigation of BLT in partnership with primary care physicians who most often identify adolescents in need of treatment for depressive disorders.  This mixed-methods study will engage stakeholders to identify barriers to adolescent engagement in BLT. Using insights from the stakeholder panel, an 8-week dose-finding and trial of BLT with 16 adolescents referred from primary care setting will be conducted. Outcomes from this study will inform recommendations for future trials of BLT in primary care.

Participating Practice:

Study Title: Saving Lives through Screening (SLTS)

Principal Investigators:

Objective: To develop best-practice screening detection methods for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors (STB) for community pediatric primary care in Illinois. Researchers need to understand gaps in training about suicide risk factors that must be incorporated with screening measures for suicide risk assessment. This study will employ expert community panels and a Community Advisory Board (CAB) to finalize and distribute a survey tool, and will analyze resulting data on pediatrician practices and attitudes about suicide risk assessment.

Study Title: Screening for Gun Violence in the Primary Care Setting

Principal Investigators:

Objectives: To gather input from the clinical setting pertaining to barriers and facilitators to assessing and addressing gun violence risk among adolescents in a community based primary care clinic situated in a low-income, racial and ethnic minority community. To ensure children and families at highest risk for gun violence have equitable access to resources that meet their needs by helping to mitigate and prevent the existing and future impact of gun violence in low-income communities. 

Participating Practice:

Study Title: Blood pressure screening in the primary care setting: Impact of the 2017 AAP Clinical Practice Guideline

Principal Investigator:

  • Janna Lam, MD

Objectives: To understand how the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline impacts the prevalence of high blood pressure in the primary care setting.

Participating Practices:

Study Full Name: Clinical management of Moderate-Severe Atopic Dermatitis (AD) in 0-2-year-olds by community-based pediatricians

Principal Investigators:

Objectives:  1) Develop a community-engaged research partnership focused on AD; 2) Engage the PPRG Leadership and Practices to better understand practice patterns related to the care and treatment of AD in 0-2-year-old; 3) Outline best practices to improve AD care by pediatricians.

Participating Practices: 

Study Title: Behavioral Health and Other Pediatric Chronic Conditions in Primary Care Practice

Principal Investigators:

Objectives: Establish a research advisory team of community-based pediatricians to guide the data collection strategies and interpretation of findings. Use electronic health record data to explore community physicians’ practice patterns in managing pediatric behavioral health & co-morbid chronic conditions. Explore current management practices & perspectives on behavioral health integration models in primary care.

Participating Practices:

Study Title: Does History of Prematurity Prompt Blood Pressure Evaluations at Primary Care Visits?

Principal Investigators:

Objectives: To understand blood pressure screening practices of infants

Participating Practices:

Funded Studies

Title: Partnering in Caring for Anxious Youth (PCAY)

Objectives: PCAY is a patient-level clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) only vs. Medication (SSRIs: Fluoxetine or Sertraline or Escitalopram) + CBT (Combined). The main study outcome is remission 24 weeks after treatment initiation.

Principal Investigators:

Participating Practices:

Study Title: Intervention to Reduce Early Peanut Allergy in Children (iREACH)

Principal Investigator:

  • Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, Attending Physician, Advanced General Pediatrics and Primary Care, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Objectives: Assess and improve pediatrician adherence to the 2017 NIAID Prevention of Peanut Allergy (PPA) Guidelines. The new guidelines task pediatricians with conducting peanut allergy risk assessments on 4-6-month-old infants, testing and/or referring high-risk infants to allergists and counseling families on early dietary introduction of peanut products according to level of risk.

Sponsoring Institution: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Active Recruiting Underway: Currently 30 participating practices

Study Title: Mechanisms Underlying Asthma Exacerbations Prevented and Persistent with Immune-Based Therapy (MUPPITS2)

Principal Investigator:

Objectives: This is an RCT aimed at understanding if a new medication (mepolizumab), reduces the number of asthma attacks in children ages 6-17.

Participating Practices: 

Sponsoring Institution: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Recruiting Completed

Study Title: Improving Technology-Assisted Recording of Asthma Control in Children (iTRACC)

Principal Investigator: Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH

Objectives: To improve overall asthma control and asthma management among children 4-17 years old with moderate-to-severe asthma.

Participating Practices:

Sponsoring Institution: United HealthCare Services

Recruiting Completed

Researchers

Adolfo J. Ariza, MD, PPRG Director

Helen Binns, MD, MPH, PPRG Associate Director

Claudia Krueger-Maru, Behavioral Research Coordinator II