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Learn How to Examine Journal Articles for Relevance, Validity :

September 15, 2017

Editor's note: The 2017 AAP National Conference & Exhibition will take place from Sept. 16-19 in Chicago.

You hear a report on the news about a new study that could have implications for the way you treat your patients. So, you track down the original journal article to get more information. The patient population is large, the methods look sound and the results seem definitive. But you wonder whether you’re missing something.

If you want to consult with an expert, plan to attend “Appraising the Evidence: Interpreting Clinically Relevant Journal Articles” from 2:00-3:30 pm Sunday (12134) in McCormick Place West W181 B, 8:30-10:00 am Monday (I3043) in McCormick Place West, W181 C.

The interactive group forum will be led by Michelle Stevenson, MD, MS, FAAP, a member of the AAP Section on Epidemiology, Public Health and Evidence. She has a master’s degree in a research-related field and conducts clinical research in pediatric emergency medicine.

“There are a number of trials published with less than ideal methodology, including insufficient power, lack of appropriate randomization/allocation and failure to address important confounding variables,” said Dr. Stevenson, professor of pediatrics, University of Louisville. “Pediatricians need to be able to determine which evidence is valid and should be applied to their patients.”

During the session, attendees will learn how to find relevant journal articles and determine the following:

  • Does the study answer the questions proposed by the authors?
  • Does the study use valid methods to answer the questions?
  • Do the results apply to the real-world setting?
  • Do the results apply to their patients?

“We recognize that pediatricians will have varied experiences and training with evidence-based medicine (EBM), and our session will be designed to teach the central tenets of EBM,” said Dr. Stevenson. “The hands-on portion of the session will allow more advanced learners to further develop their appraisal skills.”

The forum is designed for both general and subspecialty pediatricians seeking greater comfort with finding, appraising and applying clinical trials and studies of diagnostic tests to their patients in the academic or community setting.

“Every pediatrician needs to know how to quickly find, appraise and apply the latest evidence when clinical questions arise about their patients,” Dr. Stevenson said. “This session will enable pediatricians to practice these important skills.”

For more coverage of the AAP National Conference & Exhibition visit and follow AAPNews on Twitter and Facebook.

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