Results Summary

What was the research about?

Currently many researchers get input on their research projects from other researchers. But researchers want their work to be more patient centered, or relevant to patients’ preferences, needs, and values. To do this, researchers need a way to measure how patient centered a research project is. They also need ways to get input from patients and community members on research projects.

In this study, the research team created a scale with a set of questions to measure how patient centered input is on research projects. The team tested the scale to be sure it measured patient-centeredness reliably and accurately.

Then the research team compared two ways researchers could get input on their projects:

  • Community Engagement Studio, or CE Studio, brings together patients and community members.
  • Translational Studio, or T2 Studio, brings together researchers.

The team wanted to learn if there were differences in how patient centered input was from CE Studio and T2 Studio.

What were the results?

The scale the research team developed worked well to measure patient-centeredness of input on research projects.

Using the scale, the research teams found that the input from CE Studio was more patient centered than the input from T2 Studio.

What did the research team do?

To measure how patient centered input is on research projects, the research team created the Person-Centeredness of Research Scale, made up of a set of questions. To create the scale, the team made a list of features that would make a project patient centered. Next, the team created questions to find out if projects showed these traits. The team then tested and revised the questions.

The research team assigned 20 research projects to one of two groups by chance. The project teams were from Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and they wanted input on making their projects patient centered. Teams in the first group received input using CE Studio. Teams in the second group received input using T2 Studio. In both CE Studio and T2 Studio, people gave input through one- to two-hour discussion sessions.

To measure the patient-centeredness of input given in both groups, the research team used the new Person-Centeredness of Research Scale. The team compared the patient-centeredness of the input projects received in the CE Studio group with the T2 Studio group.

Two members of community organizations helped design and conduct the study.

What were the limits of the study?

This study looked at a small number of research projects. Results may differ with more projects. The research team looked only at if the input on research projects was patient centered. They didn’t look at other things that may make a project patient centered, such as if patients were on the project team.

How can people use the results?

Researchers could use CE Studio to get patient-centered input on research projects. They could also use the Person-Centeredness of Research Scale to measure how patient-centered input is on a research project.

Final Research Report

View this project's final research report.

Stories and Videos

Peer-Review Summary

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 reviewers commented, and the researchers made changes or provided responses. Those comments and responses included the following:

  • Reviewers questioned the reasons for developing taxonomies for stakeholder engagement. The researchers responded that there are no existing taxonomies for how engagement impacts research, and this research fills a specific methodological gap identified in the 2013 PCORI Methodology Report.
  • Reviewers asked about the purpose of the person centeredness of research scale and particularly the purpose of the summary score produced by the scale. The researchers explained that the scale could be used to compare the person centeredness of two research products, such as study abstracts. They acknowledged that at this point, the summary score for a specific research product is not meaningful without a comparator product.
  • Reviewers questioned the plan to evaluate the best method to get person-centered input on a research project. The study’s comparison between the Translation Studio, involving researcher input, and the Community Engagement Studio, involving patient and community member input, seemed inappropriate to reviewers. The reviewers said that the two approaches should be considered complementary rather than alternative activities. The researchers explained that the purpose of the study was to assess the effectiveness of the Community Engagement Studio in obtaining person-centered input, compared to the Translation Studio.
  • Reviewers asked the researchers to temper their conclusions about the impact of patient and stakeholder feedback on research. The researchers revised their limitations and conclusions sections to stipulate that the comparison of inputs in this study demonstrated that patient and stakeholder input was more person-centered than researcher input. It was beyond the scope of the study to determine how person-centered input impacted the research process. 

Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Project Information

Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MS
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
$872,428 *
Improving Patient Engagement and Understanding Its Impact on Research through Community Review Boards

Key Dates

December 2013
October 2017

Study Registration Information

Final Research Report

View this project's final research report.

Journal Articles


Has Results
Award Type
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: October 18, 2023