Improving the Science in Plastic Surgery Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Summary

    In 1906, George Bernard Shaw criticized the medical profession for its lack of science and compassion. Since then, advances in both medical and surgical subspecialties have improved quality of patient care. Unfortunately, the reporting of these advances is variable and is frequently biased. Such limitations lead to false claims, wasted research dollars, and inability to synthesize and apply evidence to practice. It was hoped that the introduction of evidence-based medicine would improve the quality of health care and decrease health dollar waste. For this to occur, however, credible "best evidence"-one of the components of evidence-based medicine-is required. This article provides a framework for credible research evidence in plastic surgery, as follows: (1) stating the clinical research question, (2) selecting the proper study design, (3) measuring critical (important) outcomes, (4) using the correct scale(s) to measure the outcomes, (5) including economic evaluations with clinical (effectiveness) studies, and (6) reporting a study's results using the Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research, or EQUATOR, guidelines. Surgeon investigators are encouraged to continue improving the science in plastic surgery by applying the framework outlined in this article. Improving surgical clinical research should decrease resource waste and provide patients with improved evidence-based care.

publication date

  • June 2022