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 questioned when the researchers dropped one of the two intervention hospitals from the study because of unreliable data. The researchers explained that the second hospital was not removed from analyses until aim 3. They indicated that they had already collected focus group data from patients in that hospital’s catchment area, as well as having trained half of the stroke promoters.
- Reviewers had questions about how dropping one of the two intervention hospitals from the study affected the statistical analysis. They worried that the study may have been underpowered with around 20 patients per month seen in the intervention hospital. The researchers said because they used interrupted time series for analysis, the primary unit of analysis was time, or months, not hospitals or patients. Therefore, the statistical power of the work depended on time units rather than the number of hospitals or patients in the study. To improve the power of the study, the researchers chose an extended study period, five years.
- Reviewers asked for greater detail on the locations of comparison hospitals and the populations they serve. It was not clear how hospitals on Chicago’s North Side and in St. Louis, Missouri were similar or different from the Chicago South Side hospitals, especially with regards to their patient populations. The researchers added information to the report about the number of comparison hospitals in both locations and their characteristics, especially comparing stroke patients between the target hospital and comparison hospitals. They also added maps showing the locations of the hospitals in both cities and explaining the geography of Chicago.
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Other Health Services Interventions
Training and Education Interventions