Journal Club

Journal club takes place monthly at the home of a faculty member in geriatric medicine or psychiatry, and is designed to provide a fun, informal way both to keep up on the literature in our field and to learn strategies for critical appraisal of research papers. We typically review two papers in an evening, after everyone has had a chance to sample some snacks and drinks. It is not expected that participants have read the papers in advance. Clinicians and scholars at any stage (students, residents, fellows, post-docs, faculty) are welcome to come and join the discussion.

If you are going to lead the discussion of a paper, we’d ask that you abstract the article’s design and findings using the format below. This makes for more stimulating discussion (relative to wading paragraph-by-paragraph through the original article), and often makes the strengths and weaknesses of the research design more apparent.

Please email Pat Schott at pschott@unmc.edu if you would like to be sent our journal club schedule.

How to prepare for Journal Club? Instructions in ppt format 

A Recommended Journal Club Format
(From Dr. Deb Grady, UCSF)

Printable version. (pdf format)

  1. Background, Context, & Motivation
  2. Research Question
  3. Design(E.g., prospective, double-blind, randomized, parallel, captopril-controlled clinical trial)
  4. Subjects
    1. Inclusion criteria
    2. Exclusion criteria
    3. Sampling (number of centers, etc.)
  5. Measurements
    1. Predictor variables
    2. Outcomes (including primary, secondary, others)
  6. Follow-up
      How often and how long
  7. Analysis
      (e.g., survival analysis with log rank test;  intent-to-treat)
  8. Findings
      Tables, graphs
      Highlight key results

The following guidelines are from the JAMA series on Users' Guides to the Medical Literature.  References:
Oxman AD et al.  Users' guides to the medical literature:  I:  How to get started.  JAMA 1993;270(17):2093-2095.

Guyatt GH et al.  Users' guides to the medical literature:  II:  How to use an article about therapy or prevention.  A:  Are the results of the study valid?  JAMA 1993;270(21):2598-2601.

Guyatt GH et al.  Users' guides to the medical literature:  II:  How to use an article about therapy or prevention.  B:  What were the results and will they help me in caring for my patients?  JAMA 1994;271(1):59-63.

Jaeschke R et al.  Users' guides to the medical literature:  III:  How to use an article about a diagnostic test:  A:  Are the results of the test valid?  JAMA 1994;271(5):389-391.

Jaeschke R et al.  Users' guides to the medical literature:  III:  How to use an article about a diagnostic test:  B:  What are the results and will they help me in caring for my patients?  JAMA 1994;271(9):703-707.

Levine M et al.  Users' guides to the medical literature:  IV:  How to use an article about harm.  JAMA 1994;271(20):1615-1619.

Laupacis A et al.  Users' guides to the medical literature:  V:  How to use an article about prognosis.  JAMA 1994;272(3):234-237.

Readers' Guides for an Article About Therapy

Evaluating and Applying the Results of Studies of Diagnostic Tests

Users' Guides to an Article About Harm

Users' Guides to an Article About Prognosis