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Learning Objectives

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After completing this chapter, the reader will be able to

  • Describe the process of developing a journal club presentation.

  • Discuss the benefits of journal club participation.

  • Apply the concepts of literature evaluation to a journal club presentation.

  • Describe effective strategies to increase interest and participation in journal clubs.

  • Describe methods to add clinical relevance to journal club presentations.

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Key Concepts

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  • 1 There is no standard method of implementing a journal club. Journal clubs are flexible in design and execution to meet the needs of the participants.

  • 2 A journal club can often target articles specific to their area of practice, and practitioners use the journal club as a way to stay current with new developments and clinical evidence in one's specialty area.

  • 3 Case reports, letters, and nonsystematic reviews should not be the focus of a journal club discussion.

  • 4 Journal club presenters should draw their own conclusions related to the findings of the study that they are presenting. Evidence to support this critique should be shared with the group.

  • 5 Discussion among journal club participants can serve as an outlet of providing interesting clinical cases and differing clinical insight and perspectives.

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Introduction

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Journal clubs have become a staple in the professional development and continuing professional education of health care practitioners across many disciplines. 1 However, there is no standard method for implementing a journal club. Journal clubs are flexible in design and execution to meet the needs of the participants. The purpose of this chapter is to provide general guidance and suggestions that can be used to design a successful journal club that will meet the needs of the reader.

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Journal clubs are groups of individuals who meet on a regular basis to discuss and critically evaluate the biomedical literature.1,2 Documentation of journal clubs dates back to the 1800s, at which time they served the purpose of sharing educational resources to keep current with new findings published in the medical literature.1,2 As postgraduate education and training of health care practitioners continues to evolve, so does the journal club. Presently, journal clubs are widely used by health care professionals of many disciplines.

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Due to the sheer volume of the present-day literature, it is impractical to expect to be able to read every piece of original research that is published. Journal clubs are one solution to help keep current with literature in one's area of practice. Members of a particular journal club often have similar professional interests and practice areas. 2 Thus, a journal club can often target articles specific to an area of practice, and practitioners use the journal club as a way to stay current with new developments and clinical evidence in one's specialty area. Additional aims of journal clubs include teaching and practicing critical appraisal skills, improving understanding of statistical methods and research ...

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