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:
- The reviewers suggested that the researchers expand their limitations section to list the caveats to consider when applying the methods described in the report. The researchers expanded this section; for example, they added a caveat that a rigorous systematic review is a necessary starting point for methods involving evidence synthesis as well as value-of-information analyses.
- The reviewers made several comments about the usability of this information for other researchers. The researchers expanded their discussion of the potential for study uptake, including information about real-world applications for these methods. The investigators also responded that their goal was to provide an example of how to apply these analytic methods to real-world data.
- The reviewers lauded the researchers on their use of robust data sets to test their methods, but they also expressed concern that the study results from using these methods would be less reliable when applied to clinical conditions that are not as well documented in the literature as the one they used, coronary heart disease. The researchers responded by stating that the report attempts to demonstrate the feasibility of their approach for both emerging data with few publications and mature data with many publications in the literature.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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