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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Clinical Sciences : Critical Care

Postgraduate Course: Unlocking the literature: Evidence to practice (CRCA11015)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Clinical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course is to explore the process of how we translate the findings of primary research into improving clinical practice.
Students will learn how to interpret non-interventional study designs, which build on their understanding of clinical research learned in year 1. The students will then go on to learn how primary research findings are combined or synthesised into systematic reviews and meta-analyses. These reviews are the main evidence base used to developed clinical guidelines. Improving clinical practice requires the local adaption and then adoption of clinical guidelines through the process of quality improvement (or implementation science). The teaching, which will be delivered online, will be a combination of recorded lectures, videos, discussion boards, and tutor led question and answer sessions. The course will support and consolidate learning in other modules on the MSc in Critical Care by exploring how the concepts and research findings learned by students throughout the course can be applied to their own clinical practice.
Course description 1) Academic description

This academic course builds on content delivered earlier in the MSc programme and intends to equip students with skills, knowledge, and attributes to understand, and apply methods for translating research evidence into critical care. In summary this course explains how to deliver Evidence Based Medicine (EBM).

2) Outline content

Students will learn about various types of non-interventional studies (including epidemiological, qualitative and the validation of diagnostic tests). We will explore the concepts of bias, causality and confounding. The students will then go on to learn about systematic reviews, meta-analyses (including the Cochrane Collaboration), guidelines and protocols (including guidelines produced by national Critical care societies) and quality improvement (implementation science).
Students will build on the skills, learned in year 1, of using online resources and search engines to find relevant clinical research, reviews and guidelines. They will learn how to appraise this literature for internal validity (scientific rigor) and external validity (generalisability / applicability).

3) Student learning experience

Students will learn from experts in critical care, research methodology, and information services who will deliver teaching through recorded video tutorials, and then set students tasks to undertake in their own time. The weekly tasks will be carried and discussed using online discussion boards. Once per week tutors will make themselves available to students for question and answer sessions to clarify areas of uncertainty. These sessions will be recorded for future reference.

The students will demonstrate their understanding of the process of how we translate the findings of primary research into improving clinical practice by developing a guideline for use in their own clinical environment. This will be a "paper" assignment. It will not involve actually implementing the guideline in their base hospital, ICU or healthcare service. The assignment will be split into multiple parts including:
1. Summarising the evidence for a specific treatment or intervention
2. Demonstrating the need for a local guideline
3. Writing a guideline document
4. Assessing the barriers and costs of implementing the guideline. Finding out their local processes or systems for implementing new guidelines
5. Explaining how the guideline could be implemented including developing a poster to inform their colleagues and how the student would achieve local "buy in" from colleagues.
6. Explain how they would audit implementation of the guideline
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start MVM Online Learning Block 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% in course assessment
Feedback Feedback is defined as information to students which allows them to review what they know, understand and can do in their studies. Feedback is also important to identify areas for improvement, for example course feedback surveys will be an integral component of the programme to allow refinement.

Opportunities for feedback will also arise during timetabled activities, for example during live question and answer sessions, and on discussion boards, emails. Feedback can be provided on coursework assignments but also activities which are not formally assessed, for example class discussion on the discussion board, group exercises, problem-solving such as weekly quizzes and developing project plans and proposals. A formative task is provided in each course which provides feedforward prior to the student submitting their first piece of summative assessed course work.

All assignments will be marked, and feedback is provided within a period of fifteen working days (where possible) following the submission date (excluding holidays periods whereby the University of closed, e.g. over the Christmas period).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recognise and understand basic research concepts and terminology related to non-interventional studies, secondary research methods, and research evidence synthesis
  2. Draw from primary research to create collaborative and evidence based clinical guidelines and protocols for use in their own healthcare setting
  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of evidence synthesis in the translation of research into practice
  4. Undertake critical appraisal of non-interventional studies identifying key sources of bias
  5. Understand the complexity in making evidence based clinical recommendations in the context of incomplete or contradictory evidence
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills a) Mindsets:

Enquiry and lifelong learning:
Graduates of this course will be encouraged to pursue their own curiosity and to learn and develop in the field of critical care, to strive for excellence in their own professional practice, and also to strive to improve care for patients as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Aspiration and personal development
Students will be encouraged to draw on their own experiences to identify areas in which they wish to grow and develop acknowledging that different students will have different priorities and aspirations.

Outlook and engagement
Students will be asked to bring to the course experiences from their own practice, often specifically relating to their own geographical context, that can be used to explore learning, engage with individuals from other international communities on the programme.

b) Skills:

Research and enquiry
Although students will not conduct primary research in this course, they will use and further develop newly acquired expertise in accessing the literature and critical appraisal, to incorporate the findings of primary research in their arguments, discussions, and assessments.

Personal and intellectual autonomy
Students will be encouraged to use their own personal and intellectual autonomy through their active participation in self-directed learning, discussion boards and collaborative activities to critically evaluate ideas evidence and experiences from an open-minded perspective.

Personal effectiveness
Success on the course will require students to be effective and proactive learners. Using the resources of the course tutors, and the university learning and information environment, students will be encouraged and supported to contribute to their own learning, as well as that of others.

Excellence in critical care is dependent on excellent communication, and the structure of the interactive (discussion boards and collaborative activities) and assessment elements incorporate constant reinforcement and development of this skill.
KeywordsEvidence Based Medicine,Systematic Review,Guideline,Quality Improvement,Implementation Science
Course organiserDr Alasdair Hay
Course secretaryMrs Kimberley Jamieson
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