Teaching Clinical Research Methodology by Example

Jack Hirsh, MDV CM MDFRCP(C) FRACP FRSC DSc

Professor Emeritus of Medicine
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Teaching Clinical Research Methodology by Example has two principal objectives: (1) to tell the story of the research process in action and to provide a glimpse into the minds of the researchers responsible for some of the major advances (and setbacks) in modern medicine; (2) to explain the principles of evidence-based medicine by reviewing the research methods required to prove or disprove a theory.

This text is written in a style accessible to health professionals who do not have a background in clinical epidemiology.

The first section of the book, Causation, begins with an explanation of “casual” and “coincidental” associations and follows with examples:

  • Smoking and lung cancer
  • Dietary fats and coronary heart disease
  • Cause and cure of peptic ulcers,
  • Viral infection and cancer of the cervix
  • Vaccination and autism
  • Venous obstruction as the cause of multiple sclerosis.

The second section of the book explores prevention, treatment, and the ethical principles of clinical trials.

  • Treatments presented include surgery for breast cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, use of Viagra, stem cells in breast cancer, and the use of aspirin to treat heart attacks.
  • Preventive measures discussed include vaccines, peri-menopausal hormone therapy, aspirin in the treatment of heart attacks, prevention of sudden death after heart attacks, stroke prevention, preventing fatal pulmonary embolism in surgical patients.
  • Includes a chapter on assessing net clinical benefits of a treatment.
  • Closes with a glossary of methodological terms.
   

Preface

Introduction

Part 1: Causation

Chapter 1. Associations: How to decide whether they are causal or coincidental

Chapter 2. Smoking and lung cancer

Chapter 3. Dietary fats and coronary heart disease

Chapter 4. Cause and cure of peptic ulcers

Chapter 5. Viral cause of carcinoma of the cervix

Chapter 6. Autism following vaccination

Chapter 7. Cause of multiple sclerosis

Part 2: Prevention and treatment

Chapter 8. Equipoise, a fundamental ethical principle of clinical trials

Chapter 9.  Vaccines

Chapter 10. Surgery for breast cancer

Chapter 11. Frontal lobotomy to modify behavior

Chapter 12. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Chapter 13. Preventing fatal pulmonary embolism in surgical patients

Chapter 14. Prevention of sudden death after heart attacks

Chapter 15. Bleeding, oral anticoagulants, and stroke prevention

Chapter. 16. Aspirin in the treatment of heart attacks

Chapter 17. Viagra: the little blue pill

Chapter 18. Peri-menopausal hormone therapy

Chapter 19. Stem cells in breast cancer

Chapter 20. Assessing net clinical benefit

Chapter 21. Glossary of methodological terms and their definitions

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Book Details

276 pages

Format

Paperback
6 in. x 9 in.

Audience

Medical students, practicing physicians in all areas of specialty, medical historians, medical writers

ISBN 9781607952831