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 requested extensive edits because of difficulties understanding the language in the report and insufficient detail of the methods used. The researchers made several efforts to correct language and restructure the report to make it more readable.
- Reviewers identified a number of standard reporting elements for clinical trials, including eligibility criteria, allocation concealment, and detailed intervention information, that the report did not describe adequately. The researchers expanded their presentation of the study methods. However, the reviewers were not completely satisfied with the researchers’ responsiveness to their concerns.
- Reviewers questioned the choice to complete more than 200 qualitative interviews, then create categorical variables from those qualitative data, as part of the methods for Aim 1. The researchers explained that the interviews had quantitative and qualitative components, and the qualitative questions were actually limited to the patients defining their understanding of treatment success.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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