Evidence-Based Medicine: How-To Articles
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has made evidence-based medicine a major initiative to improve the overall quality of published manuscripts. Rather than the traditional uncontrolled case series and restrospective cohort studies, PRS strongly encourages submissions to emply the full spectrum of research methodology including:
• outcomes questionnaire development
• large database analysis
• survey methodology
• clinical trials
• case-control studies
• qualitative research
• social sciences relating to plastic surgery
Many of these methodologies are not familiar to plastic surgeons and are not traditional research tools in this field. However, Plastic Surgery is an innovative specialty, and the creativity of Plastic Surgery demands us to continue to explore new avenues of research directions and methods in order to promote the full spectrum of research tools at our disposal. This collection of instructive articles are by no means exhaustive, but they will provide a template for all who are interested in conducting clinical research and who are not deterred by unfamiliarity with some of the research methodologies.
In the current era of comparative effectiveness and focus on health care economics, articles that assess outcomes and cost will be considered favorably for submission to PRS because these types of articles can guide the treatments for our patients. To provide the most optimal care for our patients and to distinguish plastic surgery as the scientific leaders in Surgery, we must fully embrace evidence- based medicine and the many creative research methods to help us research vexing questions facing our specialty. I hope that you will learn and enjoy reading these selected articles, and we will continue to update this list to help you engage in outcomes research and evidence-based medicine.
Kevin C. Chung, MD, MS
Rod J Rohrich, MD