Friday, July 02, 2010

Lessons Learned From ICEM 2010 (Part E)

Lessons learned from:

Researcher-Biostatistician Symbiotic Relationship – by Dr. Chan Yiong Huak

According to the speaker, the success of a research depends on the following:

Stages of research

Percentage contribution to validity of clinical results obtained

Stage 1

Proper study design

30 – 40%

Stage 2

Conducting the study/data integrity

50 – 60%

Stage 3

Proper database setup/statistics

Only about 10 – 20%

Therefore, as the speaker said, seek input from the biostatistician right at the very beginning of the study to ensure a good data integrity. That is more important than seeking the biostatistician’s help only towards the end of the project when the data collection has been completed.

In that talk, the speaker also warned against becoming a “p-value worshipper”!!! One should know the difference between statistical significance versus clinical significance. Remember that statistical significance can be manipulated by increasing the sample size, but one cannot manipulate the clinical significance anymore than a doctor can force a patient to take drug A for his hypertension.

Key Lessons learned from:

Research Trends in Emergency Medicine – by A/Prof Andra L Blomkalns

This is another talk that I have truly learned so much from. Lots of research ideas can be gleaned from this talk.

The speaker started off by showing how emergency medicine, by itself, has grown be to be ever popular, respectable specialty by itself, and in line with that, the number of publications in the field of emergency medicine has not only grown substantially, but, diversified and evolved from simple anecdotal case reports historically back in the 1970s and before to high impact original research articles currently. Various consortia, collaborations, including highly specialized networking links such as PECARN (Pediatrics Emergency Care Applied Research Network) have been established to facilitate and propels vigorous research works in emergency medicine. The speaker also partly attributed to the growing interest of the general public to emergency medicine to the popularity of TV shows such as ER that depicts stories and happenings pertaining to emergency medicine.

Yet, as emergency medicine continues to grow as a specialty, its focus would inevitably change. Its landscape changes to a more global focus. And as the types of diseases seen in developing countries may differ from developed countries, the trends in emergency medicine research will therefore, change as well. Below is the partial list of future research trends in emergency medicine that she predicted:

· Mental Health and Psychiatric disorders in emergency medicine such as unipolar depression, dementia disorder, etc (Note: this is one area that have not been studied extensively in emergency medicine but may become more important due to increasing number of such cases as the world progresses)

· Domestic Violence cases in emergency department

· Self-inflicting Injuries

· Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, diarrheal diseases

· Combat Medicine, War medicine

· Basic sciences research

Other conventionally existing trends that will continue to grow include:

· Motor vehicle accidents

· Cardiovascular Diseases

· Neurovascular Diseases

· Critical Care Interventions

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