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If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now: avoiding the pitfalls of dental research

Monday, 9 June 2014, Dundee Dental Education Centre, Dundee

Twenty seven enthusiastic dentists and researchers assembled on 9 June at Dundee Dental Education Centre (DDEC) for the fifth SDPBRN Research Training Day. Attendees included 14 dentists on the Remote and Rural Fellowship Programme plus postgraduate students from Edinburgh Dental Institute. Dr Isobel Madden, who runs the Programme, began the day by reviewing the ten years since it began and emphasised the international recognition it has received (information http://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/media/2985/flyer.pdf ).

Following the pattern established in previous years, there was a strong interactive element to the day. Five current and past Remote and Rural Fellows gave presentations on their projects. Colm Rice and Karen Emslie looked back at lessons learned from their completed studies while Margaret Formby, Guy Jackson and Andrea Roger talked about their ongoing research in remote and rural practices across Scotland.

These speakers were followed by presentations intended to help newer dental researchers understand and select appropriate methods to undertake or evaluate research. The first of these teaching presentations was from Sam Rutherford from Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme and Steve Turner from SDPBRN, who explained the role and structure of systematic reviews, meta-analyses and even blobbograms.

For the first time in this series of training days there was also an informal Stats Question & Answer session led by Dr Steve Hubbard of the University of Dundeeā€™s School of Learning and Teaching. Among topics Steve discussed was the use of the free R software package for data analysis and the Rstudio interface (see http://cran.r-project.org/ and http://www.rstudio.com/).

After lunch, Steve Turner and Anna Templeton (also SDPBRN) led research methods workshops on database searching and patient-based research. Finally Thomas Lamont spoke about the issues involved in setting up the large scale IQuaD study, before Jan Clarkson summed up.

The day represented 6 hours CPD training and feedback on the day was extremely positive. Anyone interested in attending or presenting at future training days should contact Lorna Barnsley (DDEC) at lorna.barnsley@nes.scot.nhs.uk or on 01382 740912.