Results Summary and Professional Abstract
Final Research Report
View this project's final research report.
|Article Highlight: Native Americans have the highest rate of diabetes of all US racial and ethnic groups. In response, this study trained laypeople known as community health representatives to coach and help coordinate care for people in their own Navajo communities. As reported in International Journal for Equity in Health, compared to those not in the program, people in it lowered blood sugar and cholesterol levels at a greater level, and they also were more likely to make and keep appointments with doctors and other health providers.|
Results of This Project
In the Navajo Nation, a Focus on Health Data
Native Americans have disproportionately high rates of diabetes. Two PCORI studies, including this study, are searching for answers in the Navajo Nation and its health data. Challenges abound—including far-flung geography, low health resources, and language barriers—but together Navajo researchers and community health workers are meeting them. This blog was co-authored by Sonya Shin, MD, MPH, this study's principal investigator.
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:
- Reviewers expressed concern about identifying themes from the very small number of patients, seven, who participated in the portion of the study involving qualitative interviews. The researchers said the small number reflected the number of patients who had completed both baseline and follow-up surveys but that survey responses available from a somewhat larger set of patients, followed many of the same themes.
- Reviewers wondered why a relatively small number of patients received the intervention given the much larger pool considered. Reviewers asked whether the selection process may have introduced bias, perhaps magnifying the effects of the intervention. The researchers said the number of community health representatives available limited the study’s size. The researchers acknowledged that since patients volunteered to participate, and the study did not collect systematic data on the reasons why other patients did not participate, the findings might not be generalizable.
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