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 reviewers commented and the researchers made changes or provided responses. Those comments and responses included the following:
- Reviewers asked the researchers to qualify their findings, as the study was more exploratory than hypothesis testing. The researchers did so, noting in their report the need for future research to confirm their findings.
- The reviewers asked for additional justification for conducting statistical comparisons on the two groups of research participants. The researchers responded that although they had not randomly assigned members to the groups, they still had an interest in exploring the differences between the groups. Thus, the investigators conducted the appropriate statistical tests.
- The reviewers asked for additional discussion of potential reasons why Spanish-speaking participants were more likely to drop out of the study than English-speaking participants. The researchers expanded their discussion and noted that the research team had engaged with the Spanish-speaking community for many years. They believed that the main reasons for this difference in study completion were employment and logistical barriers.
- Reviewers questioned the apparent lack of focus on known cultural and community factors in understanding participant engagement. The researchers explained that rather than assuming cultural and community barriers to engagement based on past literature on rural and Spanish-speaking populations, they gathered this information from their research participants and community advisors. The investigators incorporated what they learned into their understanding of participant behaviors.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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