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New ideas for clinical research

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by dmd31842, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. dmd31842

    dmd31842 Member

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    I was just introduced to a new, multi-million dollar, biomechanics lab at our University and they are VERY interested in doing clinical research. I am a private DPM and am interested in ideas from others on how to start. I would like to get my feet wet (no pun intended) with an "easy" subject but any ideas from this community would be appreciated. Thank you.
    David M Davidson, DPM
  2. Davis I´m just starting the bouncing of ideas around as a thought for research in the future as well.

    Heres some things that Ive worked out for myself so far.

    Get a Mentor or 2 that you can bounce ideas off. Ive been given some great ideas and had the handbreak pulled a couple of times.

    Have time set aside, Ive found it hard trying to fit it around work etc ie when I had spare time, it doesn´t work for me. But I´m a PA addict so time maybe better spent , but a couple of weeks ago I sat down for a few hours and got some stuff done.

    Only reasearch stuff that you are intersted in, so my question would be what gets you up in the morning Podiatry wise ?
  3. dmd31842

    dmd31842 Member

    Ha! Most definetly intrested in sports medicine and also wound care-both sides of the health spectrum!!
  4. Sally Smillie

    Sally Smillie Active Member

    Keep it simple. I can't emphasise that enough. It is incredible how much work can be involved and the time taken to research even a simple question. I'm in the middle of my second project.

    Michael is absolutely correct - work alongside a mentor. Find one who has similar interests - they will no doubt have more research ideas boiling way in their heads than they have the time to do. Scowl the academic departments of all the pod schools, their staff will be a great place to start.

    Do you have any research training or experience? Work in a team and learn under them. Unless you are hugley experienced, don't try and lead a study - that doesn't mean that the research question is not your own. Otherwise, the process will eat you alive and you will never want anything to do with research again - you will end up bitter and twisted and the quality of your output highly dubious. Understanding the principles and practice of research will help no end. It is impossible to get good results from a poorly designed study. Get that bit right and the results will be good quality.

    There are no short cuts, it can be a long and time consuming process - but research is so very cool. I love it! Keep it so so simple and you might just get the bug. Good luck!
  5. dmd31842

    dmd31842 Member

    Zero experience but the biomechanics lab is filled with non-clinical people who have tons of research experience. Thanks for the good advice. David
  6. Sally Smillie

    Sally Smillie Active Member

    Hmmmn.... that research experience is priceless, but I would still try and get a pod with an interest to act as mentor. Preferably one with experience in designing RCT trials. The best reserach is that which informs and changes clinical practice, so you must spends loads of time designing a clinical question that will give you that, otherwise it's can be of academic intrest only. Your non-clinical research folk will be very useful but cannot provide that type of guidance. Find an experienced reserach buddy.

    I gained a degree with honours by research where I did a double-blind RCT, so I have a bit of an introduction to research that way. As a grown up pod in the real world I am a full-time clinician. For my current research I am working in a team with two post-doctorate fellows from a university. It was my research idea, we did an initial design, I felt that it was a little too academic'y (I know it's not a word), and we make little tweaks to make the results more clinically orientated. I run all the clinics for data collection and recruitment, they've done the literature review, ethics application and data analysis. It has been a wonderful way to work. Far less stressful than when I did it all on my own for the first one.

    As for finding a question:
    Personally I get my ideas from two places or they can be seen as stages.
    Firstly, clinical probelms with no answers, or when you do things that work, but you don't know why.
    Then READ, read, read everything you can (ie. good research papers/lit reviews) and not just from your own profession). Then you will see the gaps in knowlege. Then write a literature review. It will gradually become clearer what the reserach question might be.
    The other approach might be more academic. From an interest in an area (eg. plantar pressures at the hallux in gair), read all you can from every angle and again, the gaps will become apparent and the research question can become clearer.


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