|This project's final research report is expected to be available by November 2019.|
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 that the researchers consider adopting a statistical model that would use all available data in a longitudinal analysis rather than a simple change score from baseline to 16-week postintervention. They also stated that the researchers should have addressed missing data as part of their analyses. Researchers explained that because the 16-week outcomes were their primary outcomes and they did not collect data at interim time points, it was not possible to input missing data and the change from baseline was the most direct measure. Further, the 6-month outcomes were secondary outcome measures. Therefore, using a longitudinal analysis looking at baseline, 16-week, and 6-month outcomes would not be appropriate.
- Reviewers wondered about the effect of giving the control group a book form of the intervention rather than usual care. The researchers pointed out that the web-based intervention included materials that were not in the book, such as exercise videos, tips and resources, action plans, testimonials, and a discussion board. Also, the web-based intervention could be updated.
- Reviewers noted that the study provided no evidence that the web-based self-management program is more effective than an educational book, yet the researchers recommended disseminating the internet-based content and conducting further trials. The researchers agreed that the internet program did not perform statistically better than a book but noted that the internet version of the intervention has advantages, including being available to a wide audience without cost and being easy to update.
Conflict of Interest Disclosure
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