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UNC Family Medicine physician, Katrina Donahue, MD MPH, is part of a team of researchers to receive more than $2 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study glucose monitoring in non-insulin treated patients living with type 2 diabetes,

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has approved a research award to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine to study the role of glucose monitoring in patients with type 2 diabetes using oral medications. The three-year project will focus on assessing the impact of three different types of blood sugar or glucose home testing approaches on outcomes important to patients with type 2 diabetes treated in a community-based clinic setting.

Katrina Donahue, MD, MPH, associate professor of family medicine, and Laura Young, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, will lead the research project. Both are members of the North Carolina Clinical and Translational Institute, academic home of the National Institute of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA). John Buse, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and deputy director of the CTSA, will lead the stakeholder advisory team comprising patients and community members as well as representatives from industry, advocacy groups and state government. The contract from PCORI is for $2,090,699.80.

“Given the time and resource-intensive nature of glucose self-monitoring, to test or not to test is a critically important question facing the millions of patients living with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes,” said study leaders Drs. Donahue and Young in a written statement. “Patients often receive mixed messages about blood glucose self-monitoring. We are excited that PCORI has recognized the lack of consensus around the utility of glucose monitoring in patients with type 2 diabetes not treated with insulin.”

The researchers stated that this important, patient-centered project will help patients and those that care for them make better, evidence-based decisions about whether or not blood glucose monitoring can improve the outcomes they value most. They also said that the results will shape future decision-making in diabetes-care practice and guidelines.

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.

UNC is well placed to manage the study because of the collaborative network and research infrastructure provided by the NIH CTSA as well as UNC’s well-known work in the area of patient-centered care. Dr. Donahue practices in the UNC Family Medicine Center, an NCQA-certified Patient Centered Medical Home. Study participants will come from counties in central North Carolina, through partnerships with the UNC Physician Network practices.

The UNC 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 awards are part of PCORI’s second cycle of primary research funding. This new round of funding follows PCORI’s initial approval of $40.7 million in support for 25 projects under the institute’s national research priorities. All awards in this most recent round of funding were approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

For more information about PCORI’s Funding Announcements, visit