A Patient-Centered Complex Care Research Agenda

Rachel Davis
Anna Benyo
Shannon Mead
September 2022


Recommendations for building a stronger, more coordinated, and patient-centered complex care evidence base.


Although complex care is a widely used approach to support people with multiple health and social needs, there is considerable variation across programs, and not enough is known about what programs work best for which people. A more coordinated research approach can illuminate these questions. This Patient-Centered Complex Care Research Agenda provides an actionable guide for improving complex care research and building stronger evidence by prioritizing the experiences of people with complex health and social needs.


The Research Agenda outlines three core strategies to strengthen the complex care evidence base:

  1. Meaningfully partner with patients and communities in research;
  2. Focus on a prioritized set of research questions; and
  3. Measure outcomes in a more consistent and patient-centered way.

Suggestions to implement these recommendations include using them to inform new research, developing a complex care practice-based research network, creating a core set of complex care research standards and measures, and supporting the use of patient-centered research methods.


Complex care stakeholders, including researchers, providers, and health care organizations, can use this document to strengthen the field’s evidence base, inform research design to focus on patient priorities include patients as research partners, and support patients in recognizing how their expertise can be used in research efforts.

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