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 would be important to validate the Survivorship Care Quality Framework Index used in the study. The researchers agreed that validation of this instrument is critical and that lack of its validation is a limitation of this study. In future work, the researchers hope to validate a short-form version of the index for use in clinical practice.
- Reviewers noted that the survey approach and study demographics limit the generalizability of this study. The researchers agreed, acknowledging that the sample skews toward white and insured patients. But the researchers noted that they focused on a sampling approach that would increase representation across cancer types such as the breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers in the study, rather than socioeconomic characteristics. The researchers also noted that their study may have limited generalizability since it drew on patients from high-performing cancer centers because such centers have developed programs for survivor care. In the future, the researchers hope to replicate these findings in a broader range of populations, including in low-income and underserved populations.
- Reviewers noted that the three survivorship care models tested overlap in some of their characteristics, such as providing psychosocial care and treatment management. But the researchers noted, the models vary in other characteristics, such as frequency of visits and outside referrals. The multifaceted nature of each model makes it hard to determine which specific elements of care are most effective. The researchers agreed that this is a limitation and proposed that future studies try to identify which specific components of the interventions are most important in improving patient-centered outcomes.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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