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. The comments and responses included the following:
- Reviewers asked for greater clarity on the purpose of and relationships among the different types of patient and other stakeholder groups that were part of the engagement process for this study. The researchers added details in the text and tables about the different types of groups, how they functioned, and how to prioritize their contributions.
- Reviewers asked how applicable the study’s approach could be expected to be in different environments. The researchers said they designed the method and the toolkit that they have made available to be scalable and adaptable. However, the method design is currently face-to-face which may limit its application, for example, in remote settings. Also, the tools are only available in English at this point.
- Reviewers expressed concern regarding limited diversity in the research team, which could limit the way the researchers approached studying health outcomes. The researchers responded that the matrices they developed are customizable so that any research team could choose which subgroups of stakeholders to include based on their own communities.
- Reviewers considered it a limitation of the study that a single person conducted coding and interpretation of qualitative evaluation data. Reviewers also asked for a clearer description of the qualitative methodology used. The researchers added a detailed description of the qualitative coding process, which they noted was only used for evaluation data. Qualitative data from other parts of the project were not coded formally.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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