Kentucky Community Fights Back against Cardiovascular Disease
This PCORI Story looks at how classes helmed by community health workers helped residents significantly reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease risk. The improvements in cardiovascular health held steady one year after the intervention concluded, which led local officials to fund efforts to help residents improve their health.
Between Clinicians and Patients, Trained Community Members May Provide a Key Link
A PCORI Story highlights this and other PCORI-funded studies that are testing whether lay people on clinical teams make a measurable difference to lower barriers patients may face in receiving care and following treatment plans.
Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Appalachian Kentucky (right)
This PCORI-funded project compared usual care to involving community health workers in an effort to reduce cardiovascular disease risks factors in people living in rural Appalachian Kentucky, which has among the worst cardiovascular health profiles in the country.
Addressing Health Disparities in Heart Disease
Buy-in from the community is a key part of addressing health disparities through research, says Debra Moser of the University of Kentucky.
Peer review of PCORI-funded research helps make sure the report presents complete, balanced, and useful information about the research. It also assesses how the project addressed PCORI’s Methodology Standards. During peer review, experts read a draft report of the research and provide comments about the report. These experts may include a scientist focused on the research topic, a specialist in research methods, a patient or caregiver, and a healthcare professional. These reviewers cannot have conflicts of interest with the study.
The peer reviewers point out where the draft report may need revision. For example, they may suggest ways to improve descriptions of the conduct of the study or to clarify the connection between results and conclusions. Sometimes, awardees revise their draft reports twice or more to address all of the reviewers’ comments.
The awardee made the following revisions in response to peer review:
- The awardee added information about patient and stakeholder engagement and details about the intervention. The awardee also elaborated on usual-care conditions.
- The awardee noted the lack of information about the content of usual care as a study limitation. Further, the awardee revised the report’s conclusion to indicate that the intervention condition was superior to a referral to a primary care physician.
- The awardee provided the rationale for subgroup analyses based on gender, depressive symptoms, and health literacy. The investigator explained that the addition of these analyses came after completion of primary analyses. The awardee therefore described the analyses as exploratory.
- The awardee explained that recruitment focused on patients who lacked a regular primary care physician because such a lack is typical in the rural Appalachian region where the study took place. Also, the awardee explained that including participants who did have a regular physician would have introduced too much heterogeneity to test for treatment differences.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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