Cochrane Students’ Journal Club: An Introduction

in Debunking EBM/Research Blogging by

Why this Journal Club?

Three simple reasons..

  • To provide students with an opportunity to critically read literature outside their key area of study:
  • To provide students with an opportunity to critically discuss scientific papers.
  • To sensitize them to EBM.

Okay. So this is how it goes…

A clinical scenario asking a question on the potential management of the case will be posted on the 1st of every month. A PICO style search question will be formulated and given (more on PICO below). The next task is to identify a systematic review from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR)/ The Cochrane Library to answer that question. The members of the journal club are encouraged to spend some time and try looking up the CDSR for the potential reviews and post their citations as comments below the clinical scenario.

Please do NOT post URLs to the papers, just post the complete citation.

On the 7th of the same month, the search strategy used and the link to the systematic review found to be the most appropriate for answering the clinical question will be posted on the website by the moderators. The members who posted the most relevant links will also be recognized.

Now its time for the members to critically appraise the systematic review and send their appraisals to csjc[AT]informer[DOT]org[DOT]in. The same will be evaluated by the moderators and the best reviews will be posted online. On the 15th of every month, the moderators will also post an appraisal of the same review done by them or a guest expert to help the readers understand the basics well. There after the house is open for debate.

Ask questions… Seek clarification… Express your ideas… Agree or disagree… Everything is welcome…

If you have got any questions, please post them here. If you want to suggest a theme or a clinical situation for the forthcoming issues, please mail the moderators at csjc[AT]informer[DOT]org[DOT]in .

Those members who are constantly active on the Journal Club and send in the most relevant appraisals will be awarded certificates stating the same by INFORMER at the end of the year.

There are not many rules..

Just please don’t use any unparliamentary language. Expressing dissent is welcome but keep the tempers under control. This is an educational forum, we all are here to learn. There is a difference between ‘a debate’ and ‘a battle’.

Whats PICO?

PICO stands for :

Patient/Population : Who or What?
Intervention : How?
Comparison : What is the main alternative?
Outcome : What are you trying to accomplish, measure, improve, effect?

For example, a patient X comes to the physician with a disease Z. There are two treatment options that the physician knows of to treat the condition, intervention A and intervention B. Now to find out which one is actually better, he will formulate the PICO strategy as below:

Patient/Population : Patient X (His characteristics like age, sex, ethnicity, socio demographic profile)
Intervention : Intervention A
Comparison : Intervention B
Outcome : Patient X free from disease Z

Another example is given below:

A 55 years old male comes to your office with common cold. He says that he read online that “Vitamin C more effective than echinacea in preventing the common cold”. He wishes to know if this is correct? You formulate the strategy as below:

P: Adult with a cold
I: Vitamin C
C: Echinacea
O: Prevention of Common Cold

(The above example is courtesy http://www2.warwick.ac.uk)

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