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WCM-Q workshop boosts rigour in medical research.

The WCM-Q systematic review workshop drew participants from the fields of healthcare, research and education.

Healthcare professionals from across Qatar convened at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) for a workshop that explained how to optimise the rigour and reliability of medical research. The workshop focused on a branch of academic research called systematic review, whereby investigators synthesise and analyse large quantities of existing research on a particular subject in one paper. When performed correctly, systematic reviews in the medical field provide researchers, healthcare practitioners and policymakers with useful resources to quickly and efficiently gain an accurate understanding of a particular healthcare issue. They can then identify avenues for further research or implement new healthcare practices or policies to improve patient outcomes based on the available evidence. In total, 44 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, researchers, educators and other healthcare professionals participated in the workshop, which was developed and implemented by WCM-Q's Institute for Population Health (IPH). Dr Karima Chaabna, population health and communication specialist at IPH said, "Because it synthesises and critically analyses large amounts of research, systematic review actually gives us a better evidence base for empirically grounded healthcare practice rather than viewing individual studies does. There is one important caveat, however, which is that in order for a systematic review to be useful it must be conducted with absolute rigour and transparency." Participants at the workshop first took part in a pre-assessment survey to identify their current knowledge of systematic review, before Dr Sohaila Cheema, IPH director and assistant professor of healthcare policy and research, and Dr Chaabna gave an introductory presentation of the subject. Subsequent presentations and interactive activities demonstrated how to write a protocol for a systematic review, how to search and screen literature, how to systematically collect and extract data, how to assess the quality of studies and identify risks of bias, and how to synthesise and report a systematic review. IPH projects specialist Dr Amit Abraham also gave a presentation, while projects co-ordinator Aida Tariq Nasir and projects specialist Sonia Chaabane, along with the rest of the IPH team, facilitated the workshops in conjunction with the presenters. "By following the established methodology for critically synthesising existing studies and reporting their findings, participants will be able pursue their own systematic review projects. "This will enable them to make valuable contributions to the ongoing process of continual improvement in healthcare and population health, for the benefit of patients and communities," noted Dr Cheema. The workshop, which was fully subscribed, will be offered again in September. "This workshop has been designed to equip healthcare professionals in Qatar with the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct high-quality systematic reviews that meet the very high standards of rigour demanded of academic research," Dr Ravinder Mamtani, professor of healthcare policy and research at WCM-Q, added.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Feb 7, 2019
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