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:
- The reviewers noted that the report should describe the study as a randomized control trial that was not able to test hypotheses, rather than as a feasibility study. They asked that the authors clearly describe the initial hypotheses and planned comparisons. The reviewers also asked that the researchers describe lessons learned and to discuss whether the planned outcome measures might be useful in future research. The researchers revised their report to give a more in-depth explanation of the processes used, to review the utility of the measures used, and to explore what went wrong with recruiting sites and patients, rather than the results of the outcome measures.
- The reviewers asked that the conclusions be consistent with the data presented, and not conclude that the health education toolkit the investigators developed is acceptable and feasible when the results do not support that conclusion. The researchers softened the language they used and clarified that this study failed to draw conclusions about the acceptability or feasibility of the intervention.
- The researchers asked for greater explanation for why a graphic novel was chosen as the format for the intervention curriculum. They asked why other formats or strategies for improved patient engagement were not considered. The researchers acknowledged that they had not done background research to verify that the graphic novel toolkit format matched the literacy level of the intended patients. The researchers explained that the choice to develop a graphic novel curriculum was made with the project’s patient and counselor team. They said the team spent a great deal of time working on the graphic novel content, time that could have perhaps been more profitably spent thinking about other ways to achieve patient engagement. The researchers expanded the limitations section.
- The reviewers noted that the patient and counselor team included the perspectives of patients, providers, and payers. However, it did not include experts in health communication, education, creative writing, or multimedia, so the team’s focus on developing health education material seemed like a mismatch between skills and aims. The researchers agreed that they could have greatly streamlined and strengthened the development process. They added this point as a limitation of the study.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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Other Clinical Interventions
Shared Decision Making
Other Health Services Interventions
Training and Education Interventions
^The original organization for this project was Treatment Research Institute, Inc.