Results Summary and Professional Abstract
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.
Peer review identified the following strengths and limitations in the report:
- Reviewers noted that the researchers did not report differences between the groups for the 6- and 12-month follow-up periods. The researchers revised the report to present these outcomes. The researchers noted that they believed changes to the counting-calories approach accounted for some of the small difference between the two interventions at these time periods. Researchers explained that they changed the approach to make the intervention more patient centered by allowing participants to focus on eating more fruits and vegetables.
- Reviewers expressed interest in the researchers’ hypothesis that increasing fruit and vegetable intake, which also increases dietary fiber intake, was a key element in the weight changes in both groups. The investigators added data and a discussion of the reasons for this hypothesis to the results section.
- Reviewers asked the investigators to include all results, not just those that seemed to support the study hypothesis. The researchers revised the discussion and conclusion sections to clarify the presentation of results of between-groups tests for satiety and weight change, which did not support the study hypothesis.
- In response to reviewers’ questions about the cultural context of the study, the investigators expanded their description of the study’s qualitative phase. The investigators wrote that the qualitative phase helped them understand the social issues and cultural context surrounding eating in the Latino and African-American communities.
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