The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Getting Started in Respiratory Care Research: Studies based on Quality Assurance and Clinical Outcomes

Charles G. Durbin, Jr., MD University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia

The audience will see how ordinary, daily clinical observations or concerns can be viewed as research opportunities. Examples of introducing new practices, following up of adverse outcomes, and specific therapists' interests will be used to highlight this productive approach to research. The major challenge of this approach to research is prospectively identifying an appropriate control group. Care at this stage will often determine the success of the project as well as determine the acceptability of the resulting manuscript. Once this is done, obtaining approval from the research oversight committee is necessary and usually straightforward. Informed consent is rarely required for this type of research. An aspect of this approach to research, that is very different from other research endeavors, is: funding. Since the data collection is usually mandated from an institutional QA requirement, much of the research can be performed "on the job" at the employer's expense. The additional energy (and time) is usually related to data analysis and writing, which is easy to accomplish in small, disjointed time periods. Occasionally, industrial support of travel or time can be obtained if equipment is involved in the study. However, care must be taken to avoid bias in developing the study although superiority may be identified at the termination. Acknowledgment of industrial support must be included in all presentations of results to allow readers (or listeners) to make their own assessment of bias.

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