Final Research Report
View this project's final research report.
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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:
- The reviewers questioned the report’s conclusions that the Specialized Community Disease Management (SCDM) did not show any improvements in health service use or health outcomes over treatment as usual in a sample of high-risk patients with substance abuse. The reviewers stated that because the researchers were able to recruit less than 50 percent of their needed sample to test the intervention, there was not enough power to make any conclusions about SCDM compared to usual care. The researchers revised the report to acknowledge their low recruitment and high attrition, which hampered their ability to get longer follow-ups for study participants and make any conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the novel disease management program.
- The reviewers questioned the decision to not try to follow up patients beyond six months, since longer follow-up could potentially better capture the breadth of individuals’ mental well-being and how they experienced the interventions. The researchers agreed that longer follow-ups would be useful but could not be attempted within the three-year scope of this project. The researchers said they also expected that any positive effects of the intervention would be apparent within three months. They had also planned to follow up at six months to see whether any observed effects were maintained after discontinuation of the intervention.
- The reviewers expressed disappointment that the researchers excluded the homeless population from the study. The researchers agreed that the homeless are an important group, but they were not included because of the difficulty of maintaining contact with homeless people and retaining them in studies.
- The reviewers asked about the structure and function of the community advisory board (CAB), since the report indicated that at least one former study participant was a member, and that the CAB helped develop study materials even though it was only formed after the investigators received study funding. The researchers explained that the CAB had rolling membership and this former study participant joined well after he or she had participated in the study. Also, the researchers explained that although the CAB was not established until after funding, it did contribute ideas and recommendations for the study design.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
This project's organization was originally Treatment Research Institute, Inc.
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