The role of the journal club in neurosurgical training

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53792, USA.
Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.62). 09/2007; 61(2):397-402; discussion 402-3. DOI: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000280003.49319.F1
Source: PubMed


The journal club (JC) plays a traditional role in resident education. However, little has been written on its current role in neurosurgical training programs. Our goal was to determine resident perception of JCs, factors that make JCs successful, and identifying variables for improving JCs.
We electronically surveyed all resident members of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons to determine the format, prevalence, content, and efficacy of neurosurgical JCs.
Eighty-five percent of the respondents stated that their residency programs have a JC. The perceived primary goal of JCs is for keeping current with the literature and the dissemination of information. Most JCs meet for 1 hour during the week on a monthly basis and review one to three articles. Residents generally present the articles, which are typically original research articles selected by either the faculty or the residents. Most residents consider JCs of good educational value with positive effects on reading habits. Resident and faculty attendance are important variables to a successful JC. Although the majority of residents have minimal background training in epidemiology, biostatistics, or research, fewer than one-third of the training programs provide any type of supplemental sessions or handouts regarding such methods.
JCs have a high perceived value by neurosurgical residents and should be maintained at all neurosurgical residency training programs. Key factors to a successful JC include faculty and resident attendance. Additional studies are needed to assess optimal JC formats and the possible utilization of supplemental educational tools.

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    • "The meeting time was usually in the morning; most journal clubs were reported to last between 1 and 2 h, reviewed one to three articles, and were attended by more than 60% of residents routinely. Several articles have explored the format of journal clubs in surgery.[1811131419] However, it is interesting to note there is no consensus on the ideal format. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The purpose of this integrative review was to determine whether a journal club (JC) is a successful medium to bridge the research-to-practice gap and more specifically to answer the question: Do JCs increase research knowledge, dissemination of the knowledge, and implementation of evidence into practice? Background: Although substantial advancements have been made to increase awareness and utilization of evidence-based practice (EBP), the implementation of evidence into practice has its limitations. Theoretical Framework: The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Service framework was used as the theoretical base for this review. Review Methods: An integrative review, as described by Ganong, was conducted. The search generated 28 articles, 10 of which met the inclusion criteria. Data were interpreted and evaluated using a data summary sheet influenced by the Ganong approach. The findings were summarized into 4 categories: understanding, circulation, implementation, and facilitation. Data sources: CINAHL, MEDLINE, Cochrane, Athens, Google Scholar, and Academia Premiere. Outcome: Journal clubs improved research-critiquing skills and increased the dissemination of research findings, but lacked the ability to integrate the evidence into practice. Facilitators of a successful JC were leaders in reviewing, developing, and implementing EBP. Conclusion: The 3 elements of the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Service framework, context, evidence, and facilitation were supported by the findings. Implications: A JC promotes change, stimulates professionalism, and provides the opportunity to improve practice through understanding, utilization, and implementation of EBP.
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