Shrivastava M, Shah N, Navaid S. Assessment of change in knowledge about research methods among delegates attending research methodology workshop. Perspect Clin Res 2018;9:83-90.
A medical student or a practitioner in this age needs to be aware of current practices in the field. Evidence –based medicine is the word of the hour in health practice. It requires updated, measured use of current evidence to form informed clinical decisions. Medical research is an essential component of evidence based medicine. For research to be thorough, a proper methodology has to be in place.
Drs. Manisha Shrivastava, Nehal Shah, Seema Navaid address this lacunae in details in this article. They give an insight into what a research methodology workshop aims at doing, and how these workshops positively influence the knowledge base of health students. On the one hand, as these authors correctly point out, the Medical Council of India has introduced a compulsory thesis component at the postgraduate and postdoctoral levels to improve medical education and to encourage research activity. On the other hand, there is a dire lack of how to go about conducting proper research.
To evaluate a research workshop program and understand the knowledge levels of the participants (including students and practitioners) before and after, the authors conducted a study using a structured questionnaire. The authors asked participants some basic questions like:
- A question on the nature of Qualitative Research
- The source for strongest evidence for causality
- The term for standard deviation of a sampling distribution
- Which among a selected set of options is not a means of data collection
There were certain limitations to their study- for instance; they could not compare participant to participant data since many did not reveal their identities. In-spite of the limitations, they discovered that medical students and practitioners do harbor keen interest in research methodology, and hence, workshops teaching the same can have a significant role to play. They could be instrumental in teaching research practices and increasing the knowledge base among participants. All in all, this article is an incisive means of understanding the necessity of research workshops in our country, at least until such methodology teaching practices become regularized in all health curricula.
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QMed’s note: It is heartening to see that serious efforts are underway to conduct proper research workshops. A very important neglected component of these workshops is awareness and implementation of a proper search strategy. We feel this is a huge gap that warrants urgent attention. Most workshops cover a far too simple lecture on this topic.