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 review identified the following strengths and limitations in the report:
- Reviewers commended the researchers on a methodologically sound study focused on improving statistical methods for confounder adjustment needed for causal inference models in patient-centered outcomes research. Many of the comments were requests for investigators to provide explanations of their highly-technical methods and results in language that would be understood by the general clinical researcher.
- Reviewers questioned the generalizability of the statistical approaches tested in this study, as simulation studies are often plagued with limited generalizability. The researchers acknowledged this problem, but responded that they used three different datasets for the simulations, which would improve the overall generalizability. One of the specific advantages of their simulation approach, the authors stated, was the preservation of the complex relationships among baseline covariates, which would not be possible in other simulation frameworks.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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