Abstracts

 

An International Network for Evidence-based Research: Introducing the EVBRES initiative

Jong-Wook Ban, Karen Robinson, Jennifer Yost, Caroline Blaine, Donna Ciliska, Klara Brunnhuber, Carsten Bogh Juhl, Robin Christensen, Hans Lund

Background: Research on research has shown that many redundant studies would have been avoided if a systematic review has been conducted prior to starting the new study. These apparently wasteful studies limit funding available for truly important and relevant research, diminish the public’s trust in research, and are unethical. Researchers planning a new study should therefore systematically review existing evidence in order to effectively justify the need for the study. Researchers should also interpret the results and evaluate what the new study adds by systemically analysing existing evidence (i.e. putting new research into context). Unfortunately, researchers fail to systematically review the current evidence when planning a new study and interpreting results.

Methods: The Evidence-Based Research Network (EBR network: ebrnetwork.org) was created in 2014 to promote evidence-based research – the use of prior research in a systematic and transparent way to inform a new study so that it answers the questions that matter in a valid, efficient and accessible manner. In April 2018, the Evidence-Based Research Network obtained funding from the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) to create the EVidence-Based RESearch (EVBRES). COST is an organization that provides funding for researchers to create a network (called COST Action) that organizes meetings (e.g. workshops, conferences), support short term scientific visits, develop training schools, and carry out dissemination activities. EVBRES (evbres.eu), COST Action Network (CA-17117), is establishing an international network to encourage researchers and other stakeholders such as patients, ethics committee members, funders, and journal editors to use an EBR approach when conducting or supporting research.

Results: EVBRES officially commenced in October 2018 with participations from researchers in more than 35 European COST Action member countries, in addition, more than 10 international partner countries was also involved. We held the first EVBRES workshop at Bergen, Norway in February 2019 and organized four working groups to carry out the mission of EVBRES. Working Group 1 will describe key stakeholders’ role, such as ethic committees, funding agencies, journals and patient groups, in solidifying the evidence-based research approach. Working Group 2 will develop and organize activities aimed at educating researchers on how to systematically incorporate existing evidence when preparing new research. Working Group 3 aims to identify and prioritize tools that can improve efficiency in producing and updating systematic reviews. Working Group 4 will explore methods to detect redundant research as well as measurable outcomes of implementing evidence-based research approach that are relevant to researchers and key stakeholders.

Conclusion: The EVBRES initiative, a COST Action Network, was initiated by the EBRNetwork, and successfully launched and is funded to carry out activities until October 2022. The EBRNetwork and its work will play a crucial role in increasing systematic use of existing evidence when planning new research and interpreting the results. These initial steps will lay the firm foundations for future endeavors to promote evidence-based research.

Accepted for EBM Live Conference, Oxford, UK. 15-17th July 2019

 

An International Network for Evidence-based Research: Introducing the EVBRES initiative

Jennifer Yost, Jong-Wook Ban, Caroline Blaine, Klara Brunnhuber, Karen Robinson, Donna Ciliska, Carsten Bogh Juhl, Robin Christensen, Hans Lund

Background: Research on research has shown that many redundant studies would have been avoided if a systematic review had been conducted prior to initiation of the new study. These apparently wasteful studies limit funding available for truly important and relevant research, diminish the public’s trust in research, and are unethical. Evidence-based research (EBR), or the  use of prior research in a systematic and transparent way to inform a new study so that it answers the questions that matter in a valid, efficient and accessible manner, is needed to ensure that studies are addressing worthwhile questions. To promote EBR, the Evidence-Based Research Network (www.ebrnetwork.org) was created in 2014. In April 2018, the Evidence-Based Research Network obtained funding from the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) to create the EVidence-Based RESearch (EVBRES). EVBRES (www.evbres.eu), COST Action Network (CA-17117), represents a wide group of stakeholders committed to fully understanding the implications of an EBR approach across the whole evidence ecosystem of production, synthesis, and knowledge translation.

Aims: The overall aim of the EBRNetwork and EVBRES is to establish an international network to further our understanding, as well as design and implement interventions, to encourage researchers and other stakeholders such as patients, ethics committee members, funders, and journal editors to use an EBR approach when conducting or supporting research.

Methods: EVBRES consists of four Working Groups using a variety of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (e.g. scoping reviews, systematic reviews, Delphi studies, quasi-experimental studies) to design and implement interventions to promote an EBR approach among various stakeholders. Working Group 1 will describe key stakeholders’ role, such as ethic committees, funding agencies, journals and patient groups, in solidifying the evidence-based research approach. Working Group 2 will develop and organize activities aimed at educating researchers on how to systematically incorporate existing evidence when preparing new research. Working Group 3 aims to identify and prioritize tools that can improve efficiency in producing and updating systematic reviews. Working Group 4 will explore methods to detect redundant research as well as measurable outcomes of implementing evidence-based research approach that are relevant to researchers and key stakeholders.

Results: EVBRES officially commenced in October 2018 with participations from researchers in more than 35 European COST Action member countries, in addition, more than 10 international partner countries was also involved. To assist in the organisation and realization of activities across Working Groups, an infographic has been created to identify where EBR and EVBRES fit within the “Evidence Ecosystem” in order to distinguish its crucial role in the wider ecosystem of evidence organisations through our promotion of relevant and necessary new knowledge, the need to synthesise knowledge, and the need to translate new knowledge to research practice.

Conclusion: EVBRES, a COST Action Network, was initiated by the EBRNetwork, and is funded to carry out activities until October 2022. The EBRNetwork and its work will lay the firm foundations for future endeavour to promote EBR. As a result of presenting at the International Conference for EBHC Teachers and Developers and International Society for EBHC, the EVBRES and EBRNetwork looks forward to the valuable input of EBHC experts to forward our thinking on how EBR fits in current Evidence Ecosystems.

Accepted for EBHC Conference, Taormina, Sicily. 6th-9th November 2019

 

Training Early Career Investigators in Evidence Based Research – The EBR TRAINING SCHOOL

Hrund Thorsteinsson

Background: Evidence Bases Research (EVBRES) is an international European-based network aiming to raise awareness of the need to use systematic reviews when planning new studies or placing results from a new study in the context of existing knowledge. Thanks to an EU COST Action programme, one of EVBRES’s main goals is to provide training to Early Career Investigators and senior Clinical Health Researchers on how to be evidence based. With this goal in mind, a group of COST Action members have been working to develop an evidence based research training school – The EBR Training School.

Aim: To assess the first stage of the development of the EBR training school for Early Career Investigators and senior Clinical Health Researchers and to evaluate its pedagogic approach.

Methods: Following an initial meeting in Bergen, the EVBRES members have started developing the curriculum of the first training school, which, after a number of discussions and meetings with experts, will be piloted among COST Action members in Estonia in early October 2019. Focus groups will be used to evaluate the pedagogical approach of this first training school in order to feed back to the development of the next ones.

Results: Results of the evaluation of the first stage of the development of the training school will be presented to the EBHC meeting in Sicily in November 2019. This is an ideal setting to receive constructive feed back and improve the structure and content of the EBR Training School.

Limits: The development of the EBR Training School is at a very early stage.

Conclusion: The development of the EBR Training School is a significant step in increasing awareness around evidence based research among young researchers. Its successful development and delivery can provide useful insights into teaching in this area and can pave the way for more initiatives in evidence based research training.

Accepted for EBHC Conference, Taormina, Sicily. 6th-9th November 2019