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Opportunities and challenges for junior investigators conducting pain clinical trials

Adams, Meredith C.B.a; Bicket, Mark C.b,*; Murphy, Jamie D.b; Wu, Christopher L.b,c; Hurley, Robert W.a

doi: 10.1097/PR9.0000000000000639
ACTTION Special Issue on Clinical Trials of Pain Treatments: PDF Only

Introduction: Clinical investigation serves a vital role to advance treatment and management strategies for patients with pain. For those new to clinical investigation, key advice for both the novice clinical investigator and the experienced researcher expanding to translational work may accelerate research efforts.

Objective: To review foundational material relevant to junior investigators focusing on pain clinical trials, with an emphasis on randomized controlled trials.

Methods: We reviewed recent publications and resources relevant to clinical investigators, with a particular emphasis on pain research.

Results: Understanding the approaches and barriers to clinical pain research is a first step to building a successful investigative portfolio. Key components of professional development include motivation, mentorship, and collaborative approaches to research. Many junior clinical investigators face challenges in pursing research careers and sparking iterative progress toward success in clinical trials. Pain-specific research metrics and goals—including hypothesis development, study design considerations, and regulatory concerns—are also important considerations to junior investigators who pursue clinical trails. Approaches to build toward collaborative and independent funding are essential for investigators.

Conclusion: This work provides a foundation for understanding the clinical research process and helps inform the goals and plans of clinical investigators.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-SA) which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

This review explores foundational content relevant to the careers of junior investigators in pain clinical trails.

aDepartment of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA

bDepartment of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

cArmstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Corresponding author. Address: Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21287. Tel.: 410-955-1822. E-mail address: bicket@jhmi.edu (M. Bicket).

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

Received November 13, 2017

Received in revised form December 05, 2017

Accepted January 16, 2018

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of The International Association for the Study of Pain.