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:
- The reviewers asked for more details on the 12 practices involved in the study. The researchers responded that they had collected health-integration information but did not collect additional details about each practice, such as provider characteristics. In response to reviewers, they were able to add some information about patient characteristics, such as illness severity. The researchers explained that what interested them the most was the structural elements of care, rather than process or clinical characteristics.
- The reviewers asked for additional specific information about how the clinic audit tool described and measured behavioral health integration. The researchers expanded their description of the clinic audit tool and explained that the tool was specifically designed to measure changes in health-integration practices that Oregon state policy promoted. The researchers acknowledged that the tool has not been formally tested for reliability, but its use in the state-wide initiative made it the right tool to use if this study was going to influence state policy. The researchers also noted that they completed a series of cognitive interviews to gauge the tool’s face validity.
- Reviewers suggested the study design would have been more powerful with a control group of clinics that did not use behavioral health integration practices. The researchers agreed but said that because clinics generally used at least some behavioral health integration practices, they could not establish a control group. Instead, they compared clinics by stratifying them based on their level of behavioral health integration.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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