Report on 1st CME Workshop on Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and clinical / health research:
Concept of EBM; search & critical appraisal of literature; and study design & biostatistics for research.
The AIMST University is committed to excellence in academics, research and service. The University has developed an excellent undergraduate medical teaching programme, which has been recognized and accredited by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) and the Malaysian Quality Assurance (MQA). Having achieved this, the University is currently entering into the second phase towards establishing itself as a teaching – research University, for sustaining the academic excellence and conducting quality research. The first steps to achieve this, are to empower the faculty with knowledge on the basis and methods of research, establish healthy partnership with the State Health Department, in particular the local Hospitals and the Clinical Research Centre, apart from providing the required facilities. This in turn is expected to facilitate developing sound and ethical research projects for ultimate National and societal benefit. This workshop on “Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and Clinical / Health Research” was jointly organized by the AIMST University and the Kedah State Health Department represented by the CRC, Kedah State, towards achieving this goal.
The workshop provided opportunity for the participants from AIMST University and the Hospitals of Kedah State to come together and work on understanding the basis and core concepts of EBM, the components of EBM and the need for practicing EBM. In order to locate and evaluate the strength of evidence in published literature, the participants were oriented on different types of study designs, application of bio-medical statistics, efficient and focused literature search methods, and methods of critical appraisal of medical literature. The linkage between EBM and research was discussed, so as to make the participants understand that that quality research is the basis of quality evidence and therefore, the practice of EBM necessarily depends on undertaking sound research.
In order to achieve the aim of self learning, the workshop was organized in a manner, in which, the core topics were taken up in organized sequential sessions. In each session, there was an introductory lecture, followed by group work using published literature, and finally presentations by group representatives in the plenary where adequate time and scope was given for discussion. The results of the pre & post workshop questionnaire and the feedback received from the participants clearly demonstrated that the objectives of the workshop have been achieved to a large extent. It is expected that the participants will develop collaborative research proposals which could be further developed to technically and ethical sound fundable projects in the second workshop planned in January – February 2008.