Results Summary and Professional Abstract
Sorting Through Healthcare Narratives
Daniel Dohan, PhD, talks about his PCORI-funded research project that aims to integrate patient and provider narratives into a medical database.
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 said it would have been helpful to see more information on how different stakeholders responded to the ethnoarray tool. In particular, it was not clear from the report that there was sufficient feedback from journal readers and other nonscientists to justify the superiority and usefulness of the ethnoarray. The researchers agreed with the reviewers’ points and revised the report to clarify the evaluative tasks and views of different stakeholder groups while also describing the limitations of the stakeholder findings.
- Some reviewers questioned how novel or useful the ethnoarray technology would be for describing qualitative research results, given an earlier history of anthropologists using visual displays, and what the reviewers saw as considerable overlap between ethnoarrays and existing qualitative software programs. The researchers maintained that in their review of available software and research methods, the ethnoarray would still be considered a novel tool that is more customizable, scalable, and capable of higher-level computational analysis than existing tools. The researchers indicated that feedback they received from their stakeholder advisory board and their colleagues supported these assertions.
- The reviewers noted that the ethnoarray comes after a 50-year history of visual displays developed for qualitative data, but that the researchers cited only some of the previous work in their report. The researchers revised the report to credit the earlier works, incorporating the suggested references in the background section and describing how improvements in computational power allowed them to build on earlier attempts to visualize qualitative data.
Conflict of Interest Discosures
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