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 raised concerns about how representative the viewpoints of the stakeholders selected for interviews could be expected to be. In particular, reviewers noted that the policies and procedures of the institutional stakeholders’ organization, Kaiser Permanente, could influence the institutional stakeholders’ views. The researchers stated that they did not believe organizational policies or practices would impact more scientific discussions. However, they addressed the reviewers’ concerns by discussing the selective nature of their stakeholders and the potential impact on their Aim 1 findings in their limitations section.
- Reviewers suggested adding a brief summary of the strengths and limitations of each methodological approach described to stakeholders. The researchers added a table to the discussion section summarizing the strengths and limitations of the analytic approaches considered in this study. The table also provides ranks of the various methods under different scenarios, so that it can guide stakeholders who might be choosing among these methods for their own analyses.
- Reviewers asked the researchers to provide more of a summary of qualitative findings from their interviews with stakeholders and patients. The researchers explained that they would have liked to be able to summarize findings, but there was considerable variability between and within different stakeholder groups regarding priorities and preferences for data sharing. The researchers felt that this variability was an interesting finding in itself.
- Reviewers suggested adding a glossary of key terms, primarily noting the interchangeable use of the terms, privacy and confidentiality. The researchers instead aimed to improve clarity by largely omitting the term, confidentiality, assuming other terms were less confusing.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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Patients Fill Research Holes (below)
Patients and other stakeholders help researchers ask important questions and find critical information they might otherwise miss.