Research methods and critical appraisal course

Friday 26 April 2013

Venue: Chandos House, 2 Queen Anne Street, London, W1G 9LQ

By the end of the course you will:

1.Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different study designs in observational research and know the circumstances in which it is appropriate to use them

2.Understand the principles that underlie randomised controlled trials and realise how easily they can be undermined or subverted by poor design or execution

3.Have developed a reliable approach to the evaluation and appraisal of published clinical research papers

4.Be able to impress your senior colleagues at journal club meetings and interviews with your critical appraisal skills

5.Have no fears about the critical appraisal sections of examinations

6.Be in a position to contribute to the design and development of research projects

Registration for this meeting has now closed. Places are still available, you will need to register on the day of meeting however, please note that lunch cannot be guaranteed for those who register on the day. For further information please contact Melissa Henry on 020 7290 3928.

10.00 am

Registration, tea and coffee
Chair: The tutors for this course are: Dr Kamran Abbasi, Editor, JRSM and Dr Christopher Martyn, Associate Editor, BMJ

10.30 am

What today is about. Who the speakers are. What do participants hope to achieve?

10.45 am

A strategy for appraising published papers
Are the findings true? And can they be generalised? How to go about detecting common errors in design and interpretation. The triple whammy of bias, confounding and chance. Don't be fooled by rhetoric.

11.15 am

Paper reading exercise 1 (Read paper and general discussion)

11.30 am

Tea and coffee break

11.45 am

How do journals select the papers they publish
How editorial decisions are made. How these decisions are informed by peer review. Does the editorial selection process of high impact factor journals mean that the findings of the papers they publish are trustworthy? Conflicts of interest and sponsorship of studies by the pharmaceutical industry.

12.45 pm

Research methods 1
Observational studies: case series; case control studies; cohort studies. Principles of choosing appropriate control groups

1.30 pm


2.00 pm

Type 1 and 2 errors. Statistical power and the interpretation of negative results. Analysis by sub-groups. The need for hypotheses to be specified in advance of analysis. Presentation of results.

2.45 pm

Paper reading exercise 2 (Methods and results)

3.00 pm

Tea and coffee break

3.15 pm

Research methods 2
Randomised controlled trials: good and bad trial design. Evaluating systematic reviews and meta-analyses

4.00 pm

Paper reading exercise 3 (Conclusions)

4.15 pm

Completion of evaluation forms

4.20 pm

Review of the day
Conclusion. Round up of the day

4.30 pm

Close of meeting

Meeting ref: RPD03

CPD: 5 credits

Related information


Project Coordinator:
Melissa Henry
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7290 3928
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7290 2989

Kamran Abbasi

Christopher Martyn