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Otol Neurotol. 2010 Feb;31(2):190-5. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3181c9940c.

Building a national research network for clinical investigations in otology and neurotology.

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Division of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) are the preferred research setting for descriptive/epidemiologic studies and studies that explore the effectiveness of treatments for disease that are managed in community settings, away from the rubric of the academic medical center. A PBRN in otology/neurotology, established upon a sustainable research infrastructure, addresses the challenges of performing community-based research through enhanced support for data collection and facilitated research regulatory adherence. A strategic alignment of a PBRN with an established research infrastructure allows for successful implementation of a variety of study methodologies and a framework for successful competition for research funding in hearing and balance disorders. Our goal is to develop a centralized, high-quality research infrastructure that supports a dynamic research alliance between regional centers for research excellence, community physicians, allied health professionals, and patients.


We describe herein current plans and progress toward the goal of developing a network of academic- and community-based research sites to facilitate the conduct of clinical research in hearing and balance disorders. We have formed a PBRN that we call the CHEER Network: Creating Healthcare Excellence through Education and Research. Creating healthcare excellence through education and research was proposed in response to a request for applications from the National Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders to further develop clinical research in otolaryngology, specifically focusing on disorders in hearing and balance.


Our expectation is that a network organized and focused around regional research alliances between academic institutions and community practitioners will have broad appeal to community-based health care professionals and patients, resulting in enhanced communications, interoperability, and success in the conduct of high-quality multicenter clinical research in hearing and balance disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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