Announcements for SIR Membership
Cochrane Review Database
The Evidence Based Interventional Radiology Committee has searched the Cochrane Library and identified all reviews related to IR. The Committee has developed a searchable database which houses these reviews. This database is updated by the EBIR Committee on a monthly basis. Click here to access the database.
Research Opportunities in Evidence-based Interventional Practice
The SIR Foundation is announcing a broadening of its opportunities for funding to include systematic reviews and comparative effectiveness pilot studies through the SIR Foundation grant structure. Systematic reviews are structured, protocol-driven studies that search, review and summarize existing data in a formalized manner. Comparative effectiveness studies are those that are designed to generate new data regarding clinical benefit, safety, costs, patient-reported outcomes or other relevant measures of outcome from different treatments or health delivery approaches, with an emphasis on a broad population of study participants.
Grant applications may be submitted through any of the existing Foundation grants processes, (http://www.sirfoundation.org/grants-awards/), although the majority might best be tailored to the Research Pilot Grant Program, which provides up to $25,000 in funding.
Applications for Systematic Reviews
Each application should include a formal protocol for the systematic review. The research methods section should include the following components:
- Well-defined question in PICO format (patient population, intervention, comparator, outcome).
- Investigators: recommended to include individuals from all relevant medical specialties
- Identification of key personnel for review methods: clinical trials expert, medical librarian and statistician as warranted. (SIR Foundation may help identify supporting personnel with these skills if requested).
- Specific search terms
- Specific search strategy, databases (minimum of Pubmed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials).
- Study inclusion and exclusion criteria for studies.
- Pre-defined outcome measures to be summarized.
- Abstract review process
- Selected paper review process
- Data abstraction
- Meta analysis plan (if included)
A useful resource for developing these applications is the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Editors Higgins JPT, Green, S. Wiley-Blackwell 2008. Chichester, West Sussex, England.
Applications for Comparative Effectiveness Pilot Research Projects
Comparative effectiveness research represents an important approach to clinical and health systems research. While including evidence summaries in the form of systematic reviews, it also includes the generation of new data to answer key questions regarding the relative outcomes of various interventions for a given condition. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently issued a report on the initial national priorities for comparative effectiveness research, many of which are for conditions often treated with interventional procedures. The full report and the list of priorities may be accessed through the following link:
In IOM report, the following definition for comparative effectiveness research was provided:
Comparative effectiveness research is the generation and synthesis of evidence that compares the benefits and harms of alternative methods to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor a clinical condition or to improve the delivery of care. The purpose of CER is to assist consumers, clinicians, purchasers, and policy makers to make informed decisions that will improve health care at both the individual and population levels."
The SIR Foundation is encouraging applications for pilot projects to generate preliminary data or to demonstrate feasibility for larger studies of comparative effectiveness. These applications should be submitted through the normal Foundation process. The elements of a comparative effectiveness study may include the following:
- Research plan that compares two or more different interventions or approaches to care. Placebo-controlled, sham -controlled or "no therapy" controls are not typically considered a CER model but would be considered as a pilot clinical trial.
- Research plan should include adequate control of bias. This may include random allocation of participants to the different therapies and blinding of those assessing outcome where feasible.
- The study should be of sufficient size and breadth of participants to ensure that assessment of the interventions applicability in subgroups is possible.
- While many CER studies may be randomized, there is a role for registries in CER research, often as a complement to completed or ongoing randomized trials and applications for registries or reviews of existing cohorts will be considered.
- Outcome measures should be important, clinically relevant and include where appropriate, patient-reported outcomes. Outcomes may include economic measures, with cost benefit or cost utility studies encouraged.
- The use of large data sources, such as insurance databases or similar administrative databases, is encouraged where appropriate.
- Applications aimed at comparing healthcare delivery models in interventional radiology and related fields are also acceptable, provided the study goal is to compare benefits and harms of each and study design is otherwise appropriate.
Grant applications for pilot CER studies should be prepared in the standard format outlined by the Foundation , (http://www.sirfoundation.org/grants-awards/).