Applying the PRECIS criteria to describe three effectiveness trials of weight loss in obese patients with comorbid conditions

Russell E. Glasgow, Bridget Gaglio, Gary Bennett, Gerald J. Jerome, Hsin Chieh Yeh, David B. Sarwer, Lawrence Appel, Graham Colditz, Thomas A. Wadden, Barbara Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objectives To characterize Practice-Based Opportunities for Weight Reduction (POWER) trials along the pragmatic-explanatory continuum. Settings The POWER trials consist of three individual studies that target obesity treatment in primary care settings. Design Using the PRagmatic Explanatory Continuum Indicator Summary (PRECIS) criteria, nine reviewers independently scored each trial. Methods Average and median ratings, inter-rater reliability, and relationships to additional ratings of the extent to which study designs were explanatory (i.e., efficacy) versus pragmatic (i.e., practical) and related to external validity were determined. Principal Findings One trial was consistently rated as being significantly more pragmatic than the others (R 2 = 0.43, p <.001), although all three were in the moderate range on the PRECIS scales. Ratings varied across PRECIS dimensions, being most pragmatic on comparison condition and primary outcome. Raters, although undergoing training and using identical definitions, scored their own study as more pragmatic than the other studies/interventions. Conclusions These results highlight the need for more comprehensive reporting on PRECIS and related criteria for research translation. The PRECIS criteria provide a richer understanding of the POWER studies. It is not clear whether the original criteria are sufficient to provide a comprehensive profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1067
Number of pages17
JournalHealth services research
Issue number3 PART 1
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Methodology
  • RCT design
  • dissemination
  • external validity
  • pragmatic trials
  • research design


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