Final Research Report

View this project's final research report.

Peer-Review Summary

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 questioned the applicability of the methods tested in this study. They noted that if a target population includes patients who would not have been eligible for the randomized trial, then the assumptions resulting from the randomized trial would not be generalizable to that target population. The researchers disagreed, stating that as long as the factors that made that target population ineligible were not factors that affected the trial assumptions, investigators could make inferences from the randomized trial to the target population.
  • The reviewers noted that the report often refers to a target population in a way that readers might think that each study can only have one target population. The researchers agreed that this would be an incorrect assumption and revised the report to more clearly explain that the methods can be applied to any population, and that any one analysis would require the investigator to choose a specific group or population to test.
  • The reviewers suggested that the researchers eventually provide an annotated version of the statistical codes from the appendix of this report on a public platform to make their methods more accessible. The researchers agreed and explained that they had already posted annotated statistical codes from this study on the platform.

Project Information

Issa J. Dahabreh, MD, ScD
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
Making Better Use of Randomized Trials: Assessing Applicability and Transporting Causal Effects

Key Dates

September 2015
October 2022

Study Registration Information


Has Results
Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
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Last updated: March 4, 2022