SCOR Network

SCORThe Slone Center Office-based Research Network, SCOR Network, is a national, office-based pediatric research network with the goal of conducting studies of practical importance to the health of children, particularly in areas most relevant to primary-care physicians. There are currently over 500 active physician members in the network. The patients of these physicians represent a large and diverse population of children from throughout the United States. SCOR Network research efforts can be tailored to recruit subjects broadly representative of the U.S. population or specifically targeted to certain high-risk groups.

A bit of history…in 1991-1993, the Slone Epidemiology Center designed and conducted an unusually large, double-blind, randomized controlled trial of the safety of ibuprofen for children known as The Boston University Fever Study (BUFS). For this study, Slone recruited more than 1,700 physicians from the 48 continental United States. Those physicians in turn enrolled over 83,000 febrile children who were broadly representative of the U.S. population. The results of this study demonstrated the safety of short-term ibuprofen use in children and led to over-the-counter approval of pediatric ibuprofen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Following the experience of BUFS, Slone researchers utilized the nation-wide network of physicians to conduct other pediatric clinical studies including a case-control study of group A streptococcal disease complicating varicella infections, a cohort study of pediatric diarrheal disease, and a pilot clinical trial of xylitol to prevent acute otitis media.  Due to the great success of these efforts, Slone formalized this approach to pediatric clinical research as the Slone Center Office-based Research Network, the SCOR Network.

Investigators and Study Staff

Investigators:

Allen A. Mitchell, M.D., Director
Michael Corwin, M.D., Epidemiologist

Study Staff:

Richard M. Vezina, M.P.H., Administrator
Fiona Rice, M.P.H., Coordinaor

Publications

The Boston University Fever Study

A randomized controlled clinical trial of the short-term safety of ibuprofen for children involving over 83,000 subjects randomized to ibuprofen or acetaminophen for treatment of an acute febrile illness.

  • Lesko SM. The safety of ibuprofen suspension in children. Int J Clin Pract Suppl 2003;135:50-3.
  • Lesko SM, Louik C, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA. Asthma morbidity after the short-term use of ibuprofen in children. Pediatrics 2002;109:e20.
  • Lesko SM, Mitchell AA. The safety of acetaminophen and ibuprofen among children younger than two years old. Pediatrics 1999;104(4):e39.
  • Lesko SM, Mitchell AA. Renal function after short-term ibuprofen use in infants and children. Pediatrics 1997;100:954-7.
  • Lesko SM, Mitchell AA. Pediatric ibuprofen and leukopenia [letter to the editor]. J Am Med Assoc 1996;275:986.
  • Mitchell AA, Lesko SM. When a randomised controlled trial is needed to assess drug safety: the case of paediatric ibuprofen. Drug Saf 1995;13:15-24.
  • Lesko SM, Mitchell AA. An assessment of the safety of pediatric ibuprofen: a practitioner-based randomized clinical trial. J Am Med Assoc 1995;273:929-33.
  • Mitchell AA, Lesko S. Can practice-based experience define the safety of pediatric ibuprofen? California Pediatrician 1992;8:55-8.

Invasive Group A Streptococcal Infection and NSAID Use in Children with Varicella

A case-control study of the risk of invasive group A streptococcal infections in children with primary varicella treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

  • Lesko SM, O’Brien KL, Schwartz B, Vezina R, Mitchell AA. Invasive group A streptococcal infection and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug use among children with primary varicella. Pediatrics 2001;107:1108-15.
  • O’Brien K, Schwartz B, Lesko SM, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA. Necrotizing fasciitis during primary varicella [letter to the editor]. Pediatrics 2000;105:1373.

National Pediatric Diarrhea Surveillance Study

A prospective cohort study of diarrhea in over 600 children, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and performed in collaboration with colleagues at Tufts University.

  • Vernacchio L, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA, Lesko SM, Plaut AG, Acheson DWK. Characteristics of persistent diarrhea in a community-based cohort of young U.S. children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2006;43(1):52-8.
  • Vernacchio L, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA, Lesko SM, Plaut AG, Acheson DWK.  Diarrhea in American infants and young children in the community setting: incidence, clinical presentation and microbiology.  Pediatr Infect Dis J 2006;25(1):2-7.
  • Vernacchio L, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA, Lesko SM, Plaut AG, Acheson DWK. Epidemiology and clinical presentation of community-acquired diarrhea in infants and young children in the United States: the National Pediatric Diarrhea Surveillance Study [abstract]. Pediatric Academic Societies’ Annual Meeting, May 2004.
  • Vernacchio L, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA, Lesko SM, Plaut AG, Acheson DWK. Microbiology of community-acquired diarrhea in infants and young children in the United States: the National Pediatric Diarrhea Surveillance Study [abstract]. Pediatric Academic Societies’ Annual Meeting, May 2004.

Xylitol for the Prevention of Acute Otitis Media (Feasibility Study)

A pilot randomized controlled clinical trial funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health. The study was designed to evaluate critical issues in the use of xylitol to prevent acute otitis media in young children in preparation for a large definitive trial.

  • Vernacchio L, Corwin MJ, Vezina RM, Pelton SI, Feldman HA, Coyne-Beasley T, Mitchell AA. Xylitol syrup for the prevention of acute otitis media. Pediatrics 2014;133(2):289-95. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2373. PMCID: PMC3904279.
  • Vernacchio L, Mitchell AA. Xylitol to prevent acute otitis media [letter to the editor]. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2007;26(9):863-4.
  • Vernacchio L, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA.  Tolerability of oral xylitol solution in young children: implications for otitis media prophylaxis.  Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2007;71(1):89-94.

Miscellaneous SCOR Publications

  • Vernacchio L, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA.  Management of acute otitis media by primary care physicians: trends since the release of the 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics/American Academy of Family Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline.  Pediatrics 2007;120(2);281-7.
  • Vernacchio L, Vezina RM, Ozonoff AA, Mitchell AA. Validity of parental reporting of recent episodes of acute otitis media: a Slone Center Office-based Research (SCOR) Network study. J Am Board Fam Med 2007;20:160-3.
  • Vernacchio L, Vezina RM, Mitchell AA. Knowledge and practices relating to the 2004 Acute Otitis Media Clinical Practice Guideline: a survey of practicing physicians. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2006;25:385-9.