Journal club support

On this page you will find information on Journal Clubs:

What is a Journal Club?

A Journal Club is a group of professionals who meet regularly to critically appraise and discuss articles of relevance to the group. For example, the application of evidence-based medicine to some areas of medical practice can be facilitated through a Journal Club.
Quite often a Journal Club follows a structured format, whereby one member delivers a presentation to colleagues critically appraising one or more papers. A group discussion then follows to examine the potential application of the findings to clinical and non-clinical practice.
 

Benefits

A Journal Club can:

  • Help develop critical appraisal skills
  • Encourage evidence based medicine
  • Help people to learn and improve their critical appraisal skills
  • Promote awareness of research skills
  • Encourage use of research
  • Support continuing professional development
  • Promote social contact
  • Provide continuing medical education
  • Stimulate debate, and improved understanding of current topics

Planning

Purpose:

  • To generate debate and disseminate knowledge
  • To improve critical appraisal skills
  • To improve clinical practice
  • To generate ideas for future research

Delivery

Format of the group:

  • Multidisciplinary staff or staff in a single unit or specialism
  • Formal (group appraise literature against a pre-determined checklist)
  • Informal (no checklist is used)
  • Size – generally between 5 to 20 participants
  • Length – probably a maximum of 1 hour
  • Frequency - as required
  • Appoint a designated leader – this can rotate around the group

Role of the leader:

  • Schedule meetings
  • Disseminate articles to be read
  • Develop discussion questions in advance
  • Lead the discussion
  • Document findings and circulate to others

Library support

If you are part of a Journal Club, or are considering starting one the Francis Costello Library can provide the following support –

Journal clubs currently running at RJAH supported by FCL

Library staff currently support a journal club aimed at nurses or those interested in nursing which is held on the second Friday of the month in the library seminar room at 1pm.

Library staff also support the MSK CAT group which meets twice yearly at RJAH to support evidence into practice in the fields of physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

 

Useful information

Further useful information on the technique of critical appraisal can be found at:

CASP 

What is CASP?
The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) is a programme within Learning & Development at the Public Health Resource Unit.  Since 1993 the programme has helped to develop an evidence-based approach in health and social care, working with local, national and international groups.

CASP aims to enable individuals to develop the skills to find and make sense of research evidence, helping them to put knowledge into practice.

They have put together a number of Critical Appraisal Tools to help you assess research. Each of the tools presents a number of questions that deal very broadly with some of the principles behind critical appraisal. They are not a definitive guide and further reading is recommended.

What do the appraisal tools cover?
There are appraisal tools for;
 

  • systematic reviews 
  • randomised controlled trials 
  • qualitative research studies
  • cohort studies 
  • case control studies
  • economic evaluation studies


These can all be found on the CASP website:
http://www.casp-uk.net/

Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

What is the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine?
The Centre’s broad aim is to promote evidence-based health care and provide support and resources to anyone who wants to make use of them.

What do the appraisal tools cover?
The Centre has developed worksheets which take you through the most important questions for each type of research;

  • Diagnosis 
  • Prognosis
  • Harm
  • Etiology
  • Therapy
  • Systematic Reviews of therapy

More information can be found at their website:
http://www.cebm.net/index.aspx?o=1157

Sense About Science

What is Sense About Science?
A charitable trust who enable people to make sense of scientific and medical debates in public discussion through sharing the tools of scientific thinking and scrutiny.

What guidance do they publish?

Cochrane Journal Club

What is the Cochrane Journal Club?
Publishers of the Cochrane Library, who produce independent high-quality evidence for health care decision making also run an online journal club.

How does the Journal Club operate?

  • Sign-up for free and receive alerts for monthly Cochrane Journal Club articles
  • Podcasts – Listen Now to hear the evidence
  • PowerPoint Slides – download or view online
  • Read the original review article full text for free
  • Interactive: Ask the authors a question and receive a reply


More information can be found at their website:
www.cochranejournalclub.com