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 cautioned the researchers against concluding that there were no primary outcome differences between the weekly and high-intensity physical therapy treatment arms. The reviewers noted that the study did not achieve its anticipated sample size, so the lack of difference comparative improvement could be the result of insufficient power to find the effect rather than an indication that there really is no difference. The researchers acknowledged this alternate interpretation of their study findings and changed their discussion to note that their conclusions of equivalency between the treatment arms should be tempered given low power and wide variation in the results.
- The reviewers also cautioned the researchers about their conclusions because the study’s sample size was small and loss to follow-up was high. The researchers disagreed that the sample size was small, stating that the sample size would be considered medium or large in pediatric rehabilitation studies. The researchers did revise their report to emphasize the power analysis and low power of the study, but also noted that there are few studies of long-term outcomes in pediatric physical rehabilitation, so the results are still a major contribution to the field.
- Reviewers commented that the study took an ableist perspective, based on the medical model of disability, with the goal of changing people to experience more typical development, rather than the social model which suggests society should change to create supports for individuals with disabilities so they can participate more fully in life. The researchers edited the report to acknowledge the social model of disability, reduce language that may be perceived as ableist, and state that this study took place within the medical model of care.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
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Individuals with Disabilities
Individuals with Multiple Chronic/co-morbid Conditions
Individuals with Rare Disease