The purpose of this book specifically is to teach surgeons (academic or community), surgical fellows and surgical residents regardless of the surgical specialty, the skills to appraise what they read in the surgical literature. Surgeons need to be able to understand what they read before applying the conclusions of a surgical article to their practice. As most surgeons do not have the extra training in health research methodology, understanding how the research was done, how to interpret the results and finally deciding to apply them to the patient level is indeed a difficult task.
Chapters explain the methodological issues pertaining to the various study designs reported in the surgical literature. Most chapters begin with a clinical scenario
with uncertain course of action with which most surgeons are struggling. Readers are taught how to search the literature for the best evidence that will answer the surgical problem under discussion. An identified article that seems relevant to the problem you are investigating can be appraised by addressing 3 key questions: 1). Is the study I am reading valid? 2). What are the results of this study? 3). Can I apply these results to my patients?
While the primary goal of Evidence-Based Surgery is to teach surgeons how to appraise the surgical literature, an added benefit is that the concepts explained here may help research-minded surgeons produce higher quality research.
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