Corso di clinical writing
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Corso di clinical writing. What to expect today?. Core modules. Introduction General principles Specific techniques Title/ Abstract drafting Finding out relevant literature , and Introduction drafting Nuts & bolts of statistics and Methods drafting

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Corso di clinical writing

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Corso di clinical writing


What to expect today?

Core modules

  • Introduction

  • Generalprinciples

  • Specifictechniques

  • Title/Abstractdrafting

  • Finding out relevantliterature, and Introductiondrafting

  • Nuts & boltsofstatistics and Methodsdrafting

  • Practicalsession 1 – Appraisalof a publishedarticle


Whatisyour goal in preparinganarticle

Let’s think backwards…


What is your goal in preparing an article

  • The main goals in preparing a manuscript are full reporting and disclosure of

  • relevant aspects of your study

  • Isthereanyriskofbias?

  • What are the findings?

  • Do yourfindingsapplyto the mycurrentclinicalproblem?


Internal validity appraisalaccording to The Cochrane Collaboration

  • 4 MAIN TYPES OF BIAS POTENTIALLY UNDERMINING STUDIES

  • Ascertainment bias

    • Non-uniform adjudication of events

  • Attrition bias

    • Non-uniform follow-up or compliance to treatment

  • Performance bias

    • Non-uniform performance of corollary treatments

  • Selection bias

    • The non-random allocation of pts one of the treatment groups

http://www.cochrane.org


The EBM 3-step approach

How your article should be appraised, in three steps:

Step 1 – Are the results of the study (internally) valid?

Step 2 – What are the results?

Step 3 – How can I apply these results to patient care?


First tiptoeffectivewriting


First tiptoeffectivewriting

Read a lot…


First tiptoeffectivewriting

Read a lot…

To learn something, you must see how it should be done, and how it should NOT be done!


Secondtiptoeffectivewriting


Secondtiptoeffectivewriting

What is the message you want to sell?


Secondtiptoeffectivewriting

Whatis the messageyouwantto sell?

Itmaybe the coremessage, or the corollary/cosmeticmessageofyourpaper


Thirdtiptoeffectivewriting


Third tip to effective writing

Whois the audience?


Thirdtiptoeffectivewriting

Who is the audience?

You have to adjust your message, tailor your style, and prepare yourself for potential criticisms based on the target audience…


Fourthtiptoeffectivewriting


Fourthtiptoeffectivewriting

No matter what, keep clear writing!


Fourthtiptoeffectivewriting

No matter what, keep clear writing!

“Clear writing that is incapable of being misunderstood”

Quintilian, I AD


Fifthtiptoeffectivewriting


Fifth tip to effective writing

Do not mistake the tree for the forest!!!


Fifthtiptoeffectivewriting

Do not mistake the tree for the forest!!!

The goal is the forest, of course


IMRADalgorithm

Introduction (± Aim)

Methods

Results

And

Discussion


Expanded IMRADalgorithm

IntroductionBackground

Limitations of current evidence

Study hypothesis

MethodsDesign

Patients

Procedures

Follow-up

End-points

Additional analyses

Statistical analysis

ResultsBaseline and procedural data

Early outcomes

Mid-to-long term outcomes

Additional analyses

DiscussionSummary of study findings

Current research context

Implications of the present study

Avenues for further research

Limitations of the present study

Conclusions


CONSORT guidelinesfor RCT


CONSORT statement

Moher et al, JAMA 2001


CONSORT statement

Moher et al, JAMA 2001


QUOROM statement for RCT meta-analyses


MOOSE guidelinesfornon-RCTmeta-analyses


MOOSE guidelines

Stroup et al, JAMA 2000


MOOSE guidelines


Generaltips

  • Use “men” and “women,” not “males” and “females” (except when male and female are used as adjectives, e.g., male patients)

  • Use “died,” not “expired”

  • Use “humanely killed” or “killed” for animal studies, not “sacrificed”

  • Replace “prior to” with “before”

  • Patients are not implanted, i.e., “Patients who had the Jarvik 2000 implanted,” not “The implanted patients…”

  • Be careful of “due to” and “because of.” Use “due to” only when you could substitute “caused by”

    • Recovery of brisk flow was due to thrombectomy.

    • Because of thrombectomy, recovery of brisk flow occurred.

  • Consult the AMA Style Manual


Neverthrowaway a goodsentence

  • “There is no good writing…… only good re-writing”

  • Rationale: We are better at editing than writing

  • Methods of conserving sentences:

    • Write about the same thing

    • Use similar methods

    • Dictation


  • Generaltips

    • Include one thought per sentence, one idea per paragraph

    • Use active voice whenever possible

    • Keep words simple

    • Be as succinct as possible

    • Avoid adjectives, too much description

    • Keep sentences short (< 22 words) and clear

    • Use subject-verb-object constructions:

      • Of the 22 patients, 5 (22.7%) reported rectal bleeding


    Generaltips

    • Use transitions and key words

    • Outline

    • Consult a statistician

    • Install spell-check software

    • Consult grammar and writing websites

    • Buy the AMA Manual of Style

    • Hire an editor

    • Remember the question


    Tipsforbetterwriting: words

    • Simple words are better than long ones

    • Concrete terms are better than abstract ones

    • Specific terms are better than general ones


    Tipsforbetterwriting: grammar

    • Avoid wordiness

    • Know when to use active & passive voice

    • Avoid faulty parallelism

    • Paragraphs should hang together

    • Paragraphs should have transitions


    Phrases

    “The device, with long-term durability and reliability, is enhanced by the simplicity of its design and the clinical quality of its implantable platform. The ease of the prosthesis implantation in all patients, that enables avoidance of recoil, with the superior elastic properties and the extreme biocompatibility, are unique to this technology.”


    Phrases

    “The device, with long-term durability and reliability, is enhanced by the simplicity of its design and the clinical quality of its implantable platform. The ease of prosthesis implantation in all patients, that enables avoidance of recoil, with the superior elastic properties and the extreme biocompatibility, are unique to this technology.”

    NO!


    Phrases

    “The device, with long-term durability and reliability, is enhanced by the simplicity of its design and the clinical quality of its implantable platform. The ease of prosthesis implantation in all patients, that enables avoidance of recoil, with the superior elastic properties and the extreme biocompatibility, are unique to this technology.”

    “The simplicity of its design and the clinical quality of its implantable platform enhance the durability and reliability of the device. The prosthesis is easy to implant in all patients. Moreover, it effectively prevents recoil, hassuperior elastic properties and isextremely biocompatible. All these characteristics make this novel stent unique among the others”

    NO!


    Format

    • Double space

    • Each section on a separate page

    • Use subheadings (in Methods, Results)

    • Page numbers on the right (bottom..or top)

    • Make sure font size and type consistent

    • Format the documents 2.0 to 3.0 mm form the top, bottom, sides


    Tense in scientific English

    • Present tense - previously published information accepted as fact

      • Spatial resolution of MR microscopy can reach 3 microns [ref].

    • Present tense - refer to other parts of your document

      • Figure 4 shows a diffusion-weighted image.

    • Past tense - methods and results/actions

      • Rats were anesthetized with isoflurane.

      • All animals exhibited significantly diminished learning capacity...

    • Past perfect - action that happened before other past action

      • Group 2 rats had been housed individually prior to the beginning of the study

    • Present perfect - action recently completed or continuing to the present

      • Since 1991, researchers at the Montefiore Medical Center have collaborated with more than thirty investigators at other institutions.


    Editing

    • Does it make sense?

    • Is the writing clear?

    • Are there obvious factual errors?

    • Check for vague or ambiguous statements

    • Check for wordiness

    • Check for errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and follow the journal’s rules


    Questions?


    Take home messages

    • When designing and drafting your manuscript, remember to plan in advance and revise many times

    • Keep it simple and active

    • Avoid jargon and try to sell your message/product in every sentence or paragraph


    And now the Title and Abstract…


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