Journal Club #7 – Thursday 2nd April 2020, 19:00-20:00 BST.
You can read a summary of the journal club.
Chair: Saul Crandon @ebmcamp
Saul is an Academic Foundation Doctor at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He has a strong interest in medical imaging and promoting evidence-based medicine, particularly amongst students and other junior doctors. He hopes to grow this interest by sitting on the committee for the Cochrane UK & Ireland Trainees Advisory Group. Read Saul's full biography.
Background to the discussion
Non-specific low back pain is a common complaint in primary care and one that is often difficult to treat. Numerous interventions have been proposed, one of which is acupuncture.
The aim of this educational journal club was to take a deeper look into important methodological factors that affect the studies we use to answer clinical questions. A 2006 study published in the BMJ titled ‘randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a short course of traditional acupuncture compared with usual care for persistent non-specific low back pain’ was used as the basis of the discussion. We evaluated this study using the CONSORT checklist. Is this study reliable? What factors affect its internal validity? Is it generalisable? Can it answer the question of acupuncture vs usual care dependably?
Critical appraisal is a key skill, not just for doctors but for all healthcare staff. This journal club was intended for any level of healthcare professional, students and anyone with an interest in evidence-based medicine. The trainees practiced a systematic approach to critical appraisal and highlighted some of the foundational concepts in RCT methodology.