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 asked for clarification on how many data collection points occurred outside planned timeframes and how this was accounted for in analyses. The researchers said they planned consistent data collection times for each patient but said that actually collecting data at specified times is practically impossible in patient-centered research. In weekly project meetings, the researchers discussed the challenges of contacting patients and the consequences of delay. They decided to collect data as soon as they could contact patients, even if late, so as to retain as many patients as possible in the study. The researchers accounted for the differences in data collection times by modeling time flexibly as a continuous variable in their analyses. They reported the actual versus preplanned data collection times graphically and explained their decisions in detail in an appendix.
- The reviewers asked about the qualitative results presented in the report, given the absence of any qualitative methods presented. The reviewers asked whether the researchers collected this information on the community health worker (CHW) experience through formal qualitative methods or through informal observations. The researchers explained that CHWs provided their impressions and experiences at weekly project meetings. The researchers documented these for later reporting. Since this was not done as part of a formal qualitative protocol, the researchers renamed the section describing these experiences t CHW Experiences and Observations.
- The reviewers asked if the researchers blinded the data collectors to which category of intervention patients were assigned. The researchers responded that they did not and could not blind the data collectors, as these were the four CHWs involved in the project who acted as research coordinators, data collectors, and home visitors. The researchers noted the lack of CHWs’ blinding as a study limitation. The researchers added that they blinded the principal investigators to participant assignments.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
View the COI disclosure form.
Other Health Services Interventions
Training and Education Interventions
Low Health Literacy/Numeracy