Peer review audit of occupational health reports: process and outcomes

Lalloo, D., Ghafur, I. and Macdonald, E.B. (2012) Peer review audit of occupational health reports: process and outcomes. Occupational Medicine, 62(1), pp. 54-56. (doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqr152) (PMID:21994345)

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Background: Peer review is widely used in the selection and publication of scientific research. Its application in clinical practice is emerging, particularly with increased emphasis on clinical governance and the imminent introduction of revalidation. Aims: To formalize our peer review process of occupational health (OH) reports and formally assess the outcomes of this process. Methods: A prospective internal audit was carried out of all peer reviewed OH reports between June and August 2010. An abbreviated assessment form, based on Questions 4–12 of the Sheffield Assessment Instrument for Letters (SAIL) was utilized. The report was assessed using the abbreviated SAIL, with one of four possible outcome options—no action, no changes made to report following discussion with author, changes made without discussion with author and changes made following discussion with author. Results: The audit identified that 27% of OH reports required modifications. Eighteen per cent were related to typographical errors, spelling, grammar and administrative fields being incomplete. Nine per cent were related to more complex reasons, most commonly, all the manager’s questions not being addressed, review arrangements not being clear and the report not being clear and understandable to the intended readership. Conclusions: Peer review can be a useful tool in improving the standard of OH reports, specifically picking up minor errors and potentially more significant areas of concern. It can also be a valuable educational tool in terms of personal feedback, benchmarking and exposure to different styles of report writing.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacDonald, Professor Ewan and Lalloo, Professor Drushca
Authors: Lalloo, D., Ghafur, I., and Macdonald, E.B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Occupational Medicine
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1471-8405
Published Online:11 October 2011

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