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. The comments and responses included the following:
- The reviewers said it was not clear whether either of the two interventions was more effective than no intervention. The researchers acknowledged the limited evidence for the efficacy of the interventions but noted that psychoeducation has been found to be more effective than no treatment in previous studies. The researchers added information about prior efficacy studies of psychoeducation and the Link for Injured Kids program to the background section of the report. They also noted that focus groups identified a need for more support for injured children and their parents, so doing nothing seemed insensitive since it was not guaranteed that children would recover naturally over time.
- The reviewers asked about the exclusion of various categories of trauma patients, such as those with intellectual disabilities, mental illness, or patients who did not speak English. The researchers acknowledged the limited racial and ethnic diversity of study participants, commenting that the homogeneity of participants was unsurprising given the Midwestern sites of the study. The study criteria excluded children with severe mental illness and intellectual disabilities because they might have not been able to complete the self-administered questionnaires, and their responses may not have been reliable. Spanish-speaking families were not included because materials had not been translated and tailored for them.
- The reviewers wondered if the sample size was adequate to test differences between rural and urban patients. The researchers said they did not meet their recruitment goals for the rural sample, and therefore, they did not have the statistical power to address all the questions they planned.
- The reviewers commented that the participation rate in the study was low and that the loss to follow-up was substantial. The researchers argued that the participation rate was reasonable based on the number of eligible subjects, and the rate of loss to follow-up was within the expected range for a trauma study.
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Other Clinical Interventions
Training and Education Interventions