Today was my first journal club I have ever facilitated, and I think it went well! I presented a journal club on the Serious asthma events with fluticasone plus salmeterol and fluticasone alone to the pediatrics/MFM and NICU pharmacists at SMH. The RCT itself was especially interesting because there was a lot of ambiguous information in the RCT which upon dissecting it further in their supplementary appendix and their protocol, I found a fair handful of answers! Moreover, the RCT gave me a great opportunity to get to know the SNS and SMART trials, which are commonly referred to in asthma management, a fairly common condition in the peds world!
In terms of the journal club itself, I found the experience very educational. I was especially glad that I had the opportunity to see the PharmD student in peds/MFM do a journal club earlier this week so that I could pick up some of her presentation skills that worked well! Specifically, I noticed the handout she made was 1.5 pages… whereas the one I had prepared was originally 4 pages. I noticed that with the 1.5 pages she was able to fit in so much information and leave the audience with things to jot in as well. I decided to employ this strategy and I am glad I did! I hope that in the future, my first draft will already be concise.
See attached for my handout: Serious asthma event journal club
With regards to the critical appraisal skills, I relied heavily on both NERDCAT and templates of previous journal clubs sent to me by my preceptor. I am glad I had these resources, but found that I need to be more thorough when I am assessing a trial. Specifically finding out where some of the numbers used are coming from. For this study the rate of event was defined as 0.0075, which I had not assessed, however upon prompting from my preceptor I looked into where they got the number from and if it is reasonable for their study. For this journal club, I required a great deal of guidance from my preceptor on teasing out aspects of the study that I had not considered such as the one stated above. For future journal clubs I hope to carry the following lessons from this experience:
- Know the study inside out, if in the study’s rationale it cites another article (e.g. a landmark trial)… get to know that one inside out as well!
- Really be critical of the study. Find rationale for why certain numbers or criteria were chosen
- Ensure I give my audience probing questions that go with the flow of the conversation
- Concise, concise, concise is the name of the game for handouts!
I’m looking forward to my next opportunity to polish off my critical appraisal skills and facilitate a journal club.