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:
- The reviewers noted that the results of the simulation studies performed as part of this methods research project were affected by the possibility of incorrect identification of the outcome, as well as by missing data. The researcher disagreed, noting that in sensitivity analyses, they tested violations of their assumptions about outcome tracking and missing data, and found that results did not change substantively.
- The reviewers expressed concern that the comparison methods for measuring outcome-dependent visits had assumed missing data were missing at random. This might lead to overestimating the value of the researchers’ approach to this problem. The authors defended their chosen comparisons by explaining the steps they took to assure that these comparison methods were representative and not overly biased.
- The authors added a limitation to their discussion noting that although they included generalized linear mixed models—which are used widely in comparative effectiveness research—in their investigations, they did not consider time-to-event models in their comparisons. The researchers acknowledged that time-dependent models were important for the field, but were beyond the scope of this study.
- The reviewers requested more information on the simulation studies the researchers performed as well as the proposed method for handling outcome-dependent visit analyses, and the authors added extensive appendices to report the simulations.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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