Explore this issue:November 2015
Panelists gathered in a session at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) to help find ways to contribute to the evidence and sift through it to find quality. “It’s difficult to keep up; it’s hard to know what to trust,” said Kara Davis, MD, at the University of Pittsburgh. For instance, publications of human papillomavirus-related studies in head and neck cancer have increased from about 125 in 1985 to more than 400 in 2014, she said.
Private Practitioners Must Publish, Too
Sujana Chandrasekhar, MD, director of New York Otology and president of the AAO-HNS, said that it might seem too difficult, or even unnecessary, to contribute to the literature if you’re in private practice. But that’s where the greatest need for good data lies, she said, because more than half of patients get their care from private practice, compared to just 27% at academic centers.
It’s vital for the literature to include data from the “people who are in the trenches and are actually seeing large numbers of patients,” Dr. Chandrasekhar said. “We see the more common things in private practice, and the common things are what we need information about.”
Dr. Chandrasekhar has actually produced more research in private practice—22 publications over 10 years—than she did in academia—11 over nine years. “I think there is much more time in private practice to publish than you might think is available,” she said, adding that one advantage is that there isn’t nearly as much demand to attend time-consuming meetings.
She acknowledged that time, energy, inexperience, independent review boards, and less support from statisticians and librarians can be hurdles. But resources such as the CHEER Network, designed to help otolaryngologists clear common research hurdles, can help. Working on clinical practice guideline committees and collaborating with nearby academic centers can also help, she said.
Short on Time? Read a Summary
Martin Burton, DM, director of the UK Cochrane Center, said that when you are trying to determine whether reading a paper is worth the time, you should ask yourself three questions.