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 expressed concern about the interpretation of the study findings given the statistical limitations that exist when testing multiple outcomes. The researchers acknowledged that the number of comparisons could increase the chance of a false-positive result and added this as a limitation of the study.
- Reviewers suggested stratifying patients by their Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scores, a measure of depression severity. The researchers stated that the scores could not be used as a marker of depression severity in this case, since they collected the measures after treatment started. The researchers explained that the initiation of treatment could have affected depression severity. The researchers added a limitation regarding the lack of a pretreatment measure of depression severity, which could confound the interpretation of study results.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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