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 thought the study was well conducted but asked for greater clarity to allow others to understand and build on the work. The reviewers asked the researchers to describe the survey in more detail and explain the timeline for data collection. The researchers undertook clarifying the report and the study’s limitations.
- Given that more-intensive patient activation and engagement activities did not show an association with better patient-reported outcomes, reviewers asked that the researchers emphasize qualitative findings that may provide insight for future research directions. The researchers provided more details about the qualitative methods and results and highlighted qualitative findings in the discussion. They revised the discussion to more clearly link their recommendations to all of the study findings, rather than focusing only on what was statistically significant.
- The reviewers noted that the conclusions and limitations of the report focused on how study implementation problems may have led to the lack of association between patient activation and engagement activities and patient-reported outcomes. The researchers revised their conclusions to acknowledge that even if they had fully implemented the patient activation and engagement activities, there may be no causal relationship to patient-reported outcomes. The researchers also explained that patient-reported outcomes might be influenced more by patients’ characteristics than by patient activation and engagement.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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