November 2014 - Internet Resources Digest


Organizing Evidence-based Journal Clubs

Organizing Evidence-based Journal Clubs

This is an annotated collection of links to publications on evidence-based journal clubs. It includes guides, toolkits, systematic reviews, practice and research articles, and online journal clubs materials. It is produced and distributed free of charge by the American International Health Alliance as part of its Knowledge Management Program.

  1. Guides
  2. Systematic Reviews
  3. Virtual Journal Clubs
  4. Journal Clubs for Nurses and Allied Health Professionals
  5. Journal Clubs for Doctors
  6. Resources for Journal Clubs

A journal club is a group of individuals who meet regularly to critically evaluate recent articles in scientific literature. Journal clubs are usually organized around a defined subject in basic or applied research. ...The application of evidence-based medicine to some area of medical practice can be facilitated by a journal club. Typically, each participant can voice their view relating to several questions such as the appropriateness of the research design, the statistics employed, the appropriateness of the controls that were used, etc. ...Journal clubs are sometimes used in the education of graduate or professional students. These help make the student become more familiar with the advanced literature in their new field of study. In addition, these journal clubs help improve the students' skills of understanding and debating current topics of active interest in their field.”

(From Wikipedia

A.   Guides

Journal Club Handbook

The Handbook includes guidance for the presenters, FAQs, and recommended reading. From Birmingham Women's Hospital. 22 pp. 2012  Free full-text

Journal Club Handbook

The Handbook includes guidance for the presenters, formulation of clinical question, assessing journal club  presenters, glossary ,and recommended reading. From Sheffield Childrens Hospital. 28 pp. 2014  Free full-text

A How-to Guide: Designing & Creating a Journal Club for Oncology Nurses. 2010. 39 pp.

The process of creating a journal club will differ depending on the targeted membership. This toolkit focuses on two specific target populations: nurses working within a cancer care setting and nurses who are members of a local Oncology Nursing Society chapter. 12-step process. The Guide includes forms for club meeting, for article appraisal, a glossary, examples of article critical appraisal, and a terminology crossword. Free full-text

How to Develop a Successful Journal Club

6 steps to develop a successful journal club. Includes Research report summary and critiquing form. From the International Transplant Nurses Society. 4 pp. 2011 Free full-text

Robert S Phillips, Paul Glasziou. What makes evidence-based journal clubs succeed?

Evid Based Med 2004;9:36-37 doi:10.1136/ebm.9.2.36 Free full-text

  • Focus on the current real patient problems of most interest to the group.
  • Bring questions, a sense of humour, and good food.
  • Distribute (and redistribute) the time, place, topics, and roles.
  • Bring enough copies for everyone of both the week’s article and a backup article.
  • Keep handy multiple copies of quick (1 page) appraisal tools.
  • Keep a log of questions asked and answered.
  • Finish with the group’s bottom line, and any follow up actions (eg, tools, flowchart, audits, and further searches).

Launching and Leading Journal Clubs

Workshop materials.2011. 16 pp. Kaiser Permanente Nursing Research Council. Free full-text

Evidence based Journal Club Curriculum

This curriculum is designed to equip participants with fundamental skills to keep up with current literature, to impact clinical practice, and to teach critical reading skills. Examples of the Journal Clubs conducted in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center. Presenters recorded audio narratives for each slide using a handheld digital voice recorder. The digital audio files and Powerpoint slides were then paired and converted into a web-based presentation. Clicking on the article title will launch the presentation in a new browser window. Free full-text

Judd S, Antaki F. Approach to presenting a clinical journal club.
Gastroenterology. 2014 Jun;146(7):1591-3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2014.04.024. Epub 2014 Apr 23.

The skills necessary for article appraisal and succinct presentation are important. They are essential not only for an effective journal club presentation in residency and fellowship, but also for development into an astute, evidence-based clinician. Clinical journal clubs also provide an excellent opportunity to discuss new innovations in gastroenterology that shape our clinical practice. Here the authors present an approachTable 1 that walks the reader through the steps necessary for preparation and successful presentation of a clinical article at journal club. Free full-text.

B.   Systematic Reviews

Honey CP, Baker JA. Exploring the impact of journal clubs: a systematic review.
Nurse Educ Today. 2011 Nov;31(8):825-31. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

„The journal club is proposed as a means to address the theory-to-practice gap using the basic components involved in the process of evidence based medicine/practice [EBM (P)]. The literature search covered the period 1992 to 2009. Studies focusing upon outcomes of actual journal clubs that impacted upon participants in terms of increased research awareness, knowledge, skills and enhanced care delivery, were reviewed. Sixteen studies met review inclusion criteria. The review draws from the strengths of journal clubs to recommend the multidisciplinary work based journal club, as a cost effective way of enhancing practitioner capability.“
Access to full-text through HINARI.

Harris J, Kearley K, Heneghan C et al.  Are journal clubs effective in supporting evidence-based decision making? A systematic review.
BEME Guide No. 16.  Med Teach. 2011;33(1):9-23.

„...This systematic review aimed to determine whether the JC is an effective intervention in supporting clinical decision making... RESULTS: Eighteen studies were included. Studies reported improvements in reading behaviour (N = 5/11), confidence in critical appraisal (N = 7/7), critical appraisal test scores (N = 5/7) and ability to use findings (N = 5/7). No studies reported on patient outcomes. Sixteen studies used self-reported measures, but only four studies used validated tests... Realist synthesis identified potentially 'active educational ingredients', including mentoring, brief training in clinical epidemiology, structured critical appraisal tools, adult-learning principles, multifaceted teaching approaches and integration of the JC with other clinical and academic activities. CONCLUSION: The effectiveness of JCs in supporting evidence-based decision making is not clear. Better reporting of the intervention and a mixed methods approach to evaluating active ingredients are needed in order to understand how JCs may support evidence-based practice.“  Free BEME report (79 pp.) abstract‎

Deenadayalan Y, Grimmer-Somers K, Prior M, Kumar S. How to run an effective journal club: a systematic review.
J Eval Clin Pract. 2008 Oct;14(5):898-911.

„We conducted a systematic literature review to identify core processes of a successful health journal club... We identified 101 articles, of which 21 comprised the body of evidence. Of these, 12 described journal club effectiveness. Methodological quality was moderate. The papers described many processes of effective journal clubs. Over 80% papers reported that journal club intervention was effective in improving knowledge and critical appraisal skills. No paper reported on the translation of evidence from journal club into clinical practice. CONCLUSION: Characteristics of successful journal clubs included regular and anticipated meetings, mandatory attendance, clear long- and short-term purpose, appropriate meeting timing and incentives, a trained journal club leader to choose papers and lead discussion, circulating papers prior to the meeting, using the internet for wider dissemination and data storage, using established critical appraisal processes and summarizing journal club findings.“

Free full-text

Lachance C. Nursing Journal Clubs: A Literature Review on the Effective Teaching Strategy for Continuing Education and Evidence-Based Practice.
J Contin Educ Nurs. 2014 Nov 20:1-7. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20141120-01. [Epub ahead of print]

„Peer-reviewed articles were retrieved using an online journal database. Inclusion criteria incorporated information on efficacy of the teaching strategy, evidence-based practices, and continuing education as they related to nursing journal club initiatives. ...The most common benefits found were nurses remaining abreast of current research, skill development in reading and critically appraising research and incorporation of evidence-based practices to patient care. Due to the self-motivated and voluntary nature of this teaching strategy, a limitation commonly identified was lack of participation, and further research on this limitation often was suggested.”

C.   Online  (Virtual) Journal Clubs

Kawar E, Garcia-Sayan E, Baker-Genaw K, Drake S, Kaatz S. Journal club 102: enhancing evidence-based medicine learning using a virtual journal club.
J Grad Med Educ. 2012 Mar;4(1):116. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-11-00141.1.

The VJC is part of the department’s intranet website  and is managed by the chief medical residents. The VJC  users read, review, and post comments on a blog-like  feature. Each month, a senior resident prepares a critical  appraisal of a recent article. This virtual setting for education complements the traditional journal club in residency training and helps enhance the evidence-based medicine learning experience. Free full-text

EBN Online Journal Club

“Evidence-Based Nursing is helping nurses use evidence in practice.  Part of this strategy is the EBN Twitter Journal Club.  The club runs like other journal discussion groups, except that the article and questions are posted on this blog and the discussion about the article happens on Twitter. The #ebnjc offers a great opportunity for nurses to discuss research articles related to practice.  A new article, with a specific practice focus and accompanying discussion questions, is posted regularly.  Specific dates are posted for discussion to occur on Twitter at #ebnjc.  Discussions are asynchronous and run from Thursday to Monday.  This allows for people across the world, in a variety of time zones, to participate.  Twitter discussions are archived so that you will be able to review them at any time.”

Lizarondo L, Kumar S, Grimmer-Somers K. Online journal clubs: an innovative approach to achieving evidence-based practice.
J Allied Health. 2010 Spring;39(1):e17-22.

„Face to face journal clubs have been used as a medium to share knowledge and discuss research findings in relation to clinical practice. However, attendance at journal club meetings has always been identified as a barrier to successful and sustainable journal clubs. One of the possible solutions to this is the establishment of online journal clubs. This article provides suggestions for those who are interested in forming their own online journal club. An online journal club not only provides an opportunity for asynchronous discussion but also allows members to participate in evidence-based discussion at a time and place of convenience.“

„After establishing the goal of the club, creating a server site and populating it with content, will set the scene for member participation. The moderator plays a key role in facilitating the journal club processes including use of tutorials, development of research question, literature appraisal and discussion, and evaluation. In conjunction with the ready availability of full text articles, database search facilities and RSS feeds, the online journal club may provide an effective tool to promote implementation of evidence based practice and improve patient care and safety. This format of professional development is applicable to many health disciplines including allied health professions.“ Free full-text.

Berger J, Hardin HK, Topp R. Implementing a virtual journal club in a clinical nursing setting.
J Nurses Staff Dev. 2011 May-Jun;27(3):116-20.

„Healthcare practice is increasingly focused on delivering care that is based on published research evidence. Staff development nurses can institute journal clubs to teach nursing staff critical appraisal of research articles and ways to translate research findings into clinical practice. Unfortunately, attending meetings regularly is often a challenge for nurses, and relatively few have the knowledge and expertise to adequately critique research articles. One way to bridge the limitations of accessibility and limited research expertise of journal club members is to establish a virtual journal club. This article describes one hospital's experience with developing a virtual journal club.“ Access to full-text through HINARI

McLeod RS, MacRae HM, et al. A moderated journal club is more effective than an Internet journal club in teaching critical appraisal skills: results of a multicenter randomized controlled trial.
J Am Coll Surg. 2010 Dec;211(6):769-76. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

„Evidence Based Reviews in Surgery (EBRS) is an Internet journal club that is effective in teaching critical appraisal skills to practicing surgeons. The objective of this randomized controlled trial was to determine whether teaching critical appraisal skills to surgical residents through the Internet is as effective as a moderated in-person journal club. ..Each EBRS package includes a clinical and methodological article plus clinical and methodological reviews. Residents in the Internet group were required to complete 8 EBRS packages online plus participate in an online discussion group. Residents in the moderated group were required to attend 8 journal clubs moderated by a faculty member. All residents completed a validated test assessing expertise in critical appraisal. RESULTS: In the Internet group, only 18% of residents completed at least 1 EBRS package compared with 96% in the moderated group. One hundred and thirty (57.8%) residents in the Internet group completed the test compared with 157 (72.7%) in the moderated group. The residents in the moderated group scored considerably better on the critical appraisal test, with a mean score of 42.1 compared with 37.4 in the Internet group (p = 0.05), with a moderate effect size of 0.6 SD. CONCLUSIONS: A moderated journal club is considerably better in teaching critical appraisal skills to surgical residents. This is likely because of the low participation in the Internet journal club.“ Access to full-text through HINARI.

Negar Ahmadi,  Luc Dubois, Marg McKenzie. Role of Evidence-Based Reviews in Surgery in teaching critical appraisal skills and in journal clubs.
Can J Surg. 2013 August; 56(4): E98–E102.

Evidence-Based Reviews in Surgery (EBRS) is a program developed to teach critical appraisal skills to general surgeons and residents. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of EBRS by general surgery residents across Canada and to assess residents’ opinions regarding EBRS and journal clubs. More than 75% of residents who use EBRS agreed or strongly agreed that the EBRS clinical and methodological articles and reviews are relevant. Only 55 residents (24%) indicated that they used EBRS online. Most residents (198 [86%]) attend journal clubs. The most common format is a mandatory meeting held at a special time every month with faculty members with epidemiological and clinical expertise. The EBRS program is widely used among general surgery residents across Canada. Although most residents who use EBRS rate it highly, a large proportion are unaware of EBRS online features.
Free full-text.

Sortedahl C. Effect of online journal club on evidence-based practice knowledge, intent, and utilization in school nurses.
Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2012 Apr;9(2):117-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6787.2012.00249.x. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

„ School nurses face challenges, such as providing quality health care in an educational setting and working in isolation.... Journal clubs are one strategy to help incorporate evidence into practice. ...An online school nurse journal club for school nurses was conducted as a pilot project to determine feasibility for replication and potential expansion.  ...Self-report surveys were used. ...Participants increased their knowledge of evidence-based practice and shared evidence with stakeholders. Participants intended to and did use evidence in practice, including prioritizing based on evidence. Collegial connections increased. One of the most successful features was connecting authors of the articles directly to participants. ... Expanding online journal clubs would allow busy clinicians to connect with colleagues and researchers to integrate evidence into practice.“  PP presentation

Bowen AC, Connell TG, Bryant PA. Evaluating a web-based paediatric infectious diseases journal club: more than just critical appraisal?
BMC Med Educ. 2014 Nov 14;14(1):242. [Epub ahead of print]  

“Through a co-ordinated roster, each month a different hospital in Australia or New Zealand with a PID specialist critically appraises a recently-published article. The only pre-requisites are that the article must be peer-reviewed in an online or paper journal and that it is relevant to the practice of PID physicians. The 11 clinical sites each have at least one PID physician and trainees... For the first time we show 60% of responding participants reporting their intention of using the evidence in this way. By having regular submissions appraising relevant articles, sharing the workload amongst a motivated group and using the internet for dissemination, we have shown that lack of a trained moderator need not be an impediment to a successful JC. In addition to continuing professional development, by attracting participants to the subspecialty group website, it provides networking opportunities across a huge geographical area, a potentially valuable resource for other subspecialty groups. We plan to add a forum for discussion of the JC submissions, moderated by the JC co-ordinator. The approximately two minutes it takes busy clinicians to read the short appraisals seems to be time well spent...” Free full-text

Yang PR, Meals RA. How to establish an interactive eConference and eJournal Club.
J Hand Surg Am. 2014 Jan;39(1):129-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2013.10.004. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

With our hand team scattered across several different locations, it is difficult to find a time to get together for our weekly didactic hand conference and monthly hand journal club. In addition, traffic and tight clinical schedules sometimes force conferences to start late or be canceled. Our solution was to set up an on-line conference. Using TeamViewer to host our conference and Skype to host our journal clubs, we experienced increased attendance by both faculty and residents in our meetings. In this article, we establish a method of hosting effective on-line videoconferences to facilitate nearly universal participation of our hand team, and we hope to assist others who wish to establish similar setups in their communities.“ Free full-text

D.   Journal clubs for nurses and allied health professionals

O'Nan CL. The effect of a journal club on perceived barriers to the utilization of nursing research in a practice setting.
J Nurses Staff Dev. 2011 Jul-Aug;27(4):160-4; quiz E18-9.

„Professional accountability dictates that bedside nurses base their practice on the best available evidence from research findings. However, some staff nurses may be reluctant to read research and scholarly journals, suppressing their practice and self-development. Findings from this study suggest that perceptions of barriers to research utilization in practice may decrease through the use of unit-based journal clubs. The staff development educator can play a pivotal role in nursing practice progression by implementing journal clubs.“ Free full-text[1].pdf

Campbell-Fleming, J., Catania, K., & Courtney, L. Promoting evidence-based practice through a traveling journal club.
Clinical Nurse Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, 2009, 23(1), 16-20.

„A group consisting of 2 clinical nurse specialists and the director of nursing research developed the concept of a traveling journal club where articles were selected specific to the needs of the population served by ambulatory nurses. Articles were selected on the basis of the complete review of the literature, evidence-based practice recommendations, and implications for practice.A poster board was developed, an article was selected, and the board made the rounds to 7 ambulatory sites. Nurses appreciated the efforts by the group and found the traveling journal club to be worthwhile. CONCLUSION:  Methods of presenting materials to nurses in different work areas need to consider presenting the best approach to fit with the work flow and patient needs. Busy nursing inpatient and ambulatory settings do not have the luxury of time to sit, discuss, and critique literature. Alternative methods should be developed to assist the nurses in meeting their lifelong learning needs. IMPLICATIONS: The traveling journal club idea was adopted by the inpatient units that face similar issues with time and patient needs. The traveling journal club was a success in the setting originally planned and extended to other areas.“ Access to full-text through HINARI.

Lizarondo LM, Grimmer-Somers K, Kumar S. Exploring the perspectives of allied health practitioners toward the use of journal clubs as a medium for promoting evidence-based practice: a qualitative study.
BMC Med Educ. 2011 Sep 23;11:66.

„The objectives of this study are: to explore the views and perspectives of allied health practitioners (AHPs) regarding the use of any type of JC in promoting evidence-based practice (EBP); to identify ways in which an innovative model of JC developed by the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE) might be refined...Overall, JCs were seen as a forum for reflective practice and keeping up-to-date with research evidence, and a venue for learning the processes involved in critical appraisal. Limited knowledge of statistics and heavy clinical workload were reported as barriers to participation in a JC. Strategies such as mentoring, strong support from managers, and providing CPD (continuing professional development) points can potentially address these barriers. CONCLUSIONS:  This study suggests that a structured model of JC such as iCAHE's model is acceptable, and likely to be used with enthusiasm by AHP to achieve EBP.“ Free full-text

Stewart C, Snyder K, Sullivan SC. Journal clubs on the night shift: a staff nurse initiative.
Medsurg Nurs. 2010 Sep-Oct;19(5):305-6.

Nurse leaders at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System  (CAVHS)  wanted to encourage an increase in journal clubs to address individual unit education needs. They also recognized journal clubs allow staff members to compare their own practice patterns to the best available evidence. The philosophy of the institution is to empower nurses to address their own needs by providing opportunities to develop the skills needed to meet a requirement. To that end, the Associate Chief Nurse (ACN)/Research developed a Journal Club Facilitators Workshop. The workshop was open to all interested staff, and organizers placed advertisements around the facility as well as announced the class via e-mail and in administrative meetings. Staff enrolled for the 8-hour class through an online registration program… Two weeks prior to the class, registered participants received current articles that exemplified particular types of research designs. In addition, participants received a list of questions to ask during review of the research article as well as the critique form used at CAVHS. Preparation enabled nurses to be familiar with the articles and forms, facilitating discussion in the class. As a particular concept was discussed, the participants were referred to illustrative articles to reinforce the concept pragmatically. The curriculum plan involved a variety of interactive sessions, and workshop evaluations indicated the strategies were successful in meeting course objectives. Topics included the fundamentals of research, literature searches, and management of group interactions.”

Nesbitt J. Journal clubs: a two-site case study of nurses' continuing professional development.
Nurse Educ Today. 2013 Aug;33(8):896-900. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.08.011. Epub 2012 Aug 29

„The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of intensive care unit nurses in two nursing journal clubs. Few nurses feel comfortable using evidence to guide their practice...Over six months, 70 healthcare professionals (including 64 nurses) participated in monthly journal club meetings in two ICUs of one Ontario hospital...A qualitative two-site case study methodology with six data collection methods was employed including individual interviews, focus groups, surveys, document analysis, and field notes...Journal clubs provided nurses with incentive and confidence to read research articles, created a community of practice, provided a structure to reflect-on-practice, and led to reported changes in clinical practice. Any gains in competence of nurses with research critical appraisal skills were probably modest... However, journal clubs may have a greater impact when implemented alongside other knowledge translation strategies such as working with graduate prepared nurses.“  Free full-text of thesis, on which the article is based

Duffy JR, Thompson D, Hobbs T, Niemeyer-Hackett NL, Elpers S. Evidence-based nursing leadership: Evaluation of a Joint Academic-Service Journal Club.
J Nurs Adm. 2011 Oct;41(10):422-7. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e31822edda6.

„This article describes the importance of evidence-based nursing leadership in the development and evaluation of a joint academic-service nursing leadership journal club. The use of scientific evidence and the embracing of an environment of continuous learning are essential to quality practice; however, nursing leadership has been slow to apply evidence-based practice to their own work. A noontime monthly meeting schedule, incentivized by lunch, was organized as a nursing leadership journal club. Articles were selected and reviewed monthly, and the process was formally evaluated using a written evaluation at the end of year 1. Eighteen articles were appraised by the group with 6 topics identified. Positive results included increased knowledge, competence of the leader, and attainment of goals. Recommendations include revision of goals, plans to share leadership of the group, development of a rigorous evaluation of outcomes, and dissemination of findings. The journal club was valuable in increasing awareness of nursing leadership research, promoting leadership development, and improving competence in the performance of research appraisals.„ Access to full-text through HINARI

Manning ML, Davis J. Journal Club: a venue to advance evidence-based infection prevention practice.
Am J Infect Control. 2012 Sep;40(7):667-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.07.001

Journal Clubs are a well-recognized strategy used by clinicians to critique and keep up to date with relevant literature. This article provides an example of an assessment of an article appearing in this issue of the American Journal of Infection Control titled, "US School/Academic Institution Disaster and Pandemic Preparedness and Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Among School Nurses." Free full-text

Lizarondo LM, Grimmer-Somers K, Kumar S, Crockett A. Does journal club membership improve research evidence uptake in different allied health disciplines: a pre-post study.
BMC Res Notes. 2012 Oct 29;5:588. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-588.

„Although allied health is considered to be one 'unit' of healthcare providers, it comprises a range of disciplines which have different training and ways of thinking, and different tasks and methods of patient care. Very few empirical studies on evidence-based practice (EBP) have directly compared allied health professionals. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of a structured model of journal club (JC), known as iCAHE (International Centre for Allied Health Evidence) JC, on the EBP knowledge, skills and behaviour of the different allied health disciplines...

Recruitment was conducted in groups and practitioners such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, psychologists, nutritionists/dieticians and podiatrists were invited to participate. All participating groups received the iCAHE JC for six months. Quantitative data using the Adapted Fresno Test (McCluskey & Bishop) and Evidence-based Practice Questionnaire (Upton & Upton) were collected prior to the implementation of the JC, with follow-up measurements six months later. Mean percentage change and confidence intervals were calculated to compare baseline and post JC scores for all outcome measures. ...

The results of this study demonstrate variability in EBP outcomes across disciplines after receiving the iCAHE JC. Only physiotherapists showed statistically significant improvements in all outcomes; speech pathologists and occupational therapists demonstrated a statistically significant increase in knowledge but not for attitude and evidence uptake; social workers and dieticians/nutritionists showed statistically significant positive changes in their knowledge, and evidence uptake but not for attitude...There is evidence to suggest that a JC such as the iCAHE model is an effective method for improving the EBP knowledge and skills of allied health practitioners. It may be used as a single intervention to facilitate evidence uptake in some allied health disciplines but may need to be integrated with other strategies to influence practice behaviour in other practitioners.“ Free full-text

Mattila LR, Rekola L, Koponen L, Eriksson E. Journal club intervention in promoting evidence-based nursing: perceptions of nursing students.
Nurse Educ Pract. 2013 Sep;13(5):423-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2013.01.010. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

„This study focused on nursing journal clubs as an intervention in promoting evidence-based nursing. Nursing journal clubs refer to arranged meetings where nurses convene to discuss the use of research knowledge in nursing practice. Researchers and directors of a university hospital planned the intervention. The study aimed to assess learning and utilization of research knowledge after implementation of nursing journal clubs from the perspective of nursing students. In journal clubs, answers were sought from scientific nursing articles to solve nursing problems specified by each ward/outpatient unit. Nursing students paired up to make an oral presentation of a research article to staff nurses. After the presentation, they acted as chairpersons in the discussion. The students had a vocational nursing diploma and were aiming at bachelor's degree in nursing. After the final club meeting, the students (n = 53) responded to a questionnaire. The results indicated that the students were not able to utilize the studies to the same extent as they learnt from them. Age, work experience and participation in research and development activities were connected to learning. Despite limitations, the results may be used to develop nursing journal clubs as a learning and collaboration method between nurse education and health care.“ Access to full-text through HINARI


E.   Journal clubs for doctors

Ibrahim A, Mshelbwala PM, Mai A, Asuku ME, Mbibu HN. Perceived role of the journal clubs in teaching critical appraisal skills: a survey of surgical trainees in Nigeria. Niger J Surg. 2014 Jul;20(2):64-8. doi: 10.4103/1117-6806.137292.

„The West African College of Surgeons and the National Postgraduate College of Nigeria have mandated that all residency programs teach and assess the ability to develop critical appraisal skills when reviewing the scientific literature. Residents at the revision course of the West African College of Surgeons in September 2012 evaluated the role of journal clubs in teaching critical appraisal skills using a 17-item questionnaire. The questionnaire addressed four areas: Format, teaching and development of critical appraisal s kills, and evaluation... The perceived importance of journal clubs to the development of critical appraisal skills was rated as very important by the residents. However, residents indicated a need for a formal evaluation of the journal clubs. It is our hope that the results of this survey will encourage postgraduate coordinators to evaluate the quality of their journal clubs in the development of skills in critical appraisal of the literature.“  Free full-text;year=2014;volume=20;issue=2;spage=64;epage=68;aulast=Ibrahim

Ka-Wai Tam, Lung-Wen Tsai, Chien-Chih Wu, Po-Li Wei, Chou-Fu Wei and Soul-Chin Chen. Using vote cards to encourage active participation and to improve critical appraisal skills in evidence-based medicine journal clubs.
Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 2011, Vol.17, issue 4, pp. 827–831

“Evidence-based medicine journal club is held on a weekly basis in the Department of Surgery in Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taiwan. The participants of EBM journal clubs include medical students, resident doctors and primary care faculty members. After the presentation, participants use their vote cards to critically appraise the literature and decide if the rationales could be applied in their own practice. After a 12-week period, we evaluated the effectiveness of the vote cards based on survey findings of the participants. The majority of 66 respondents agreed that vote cards can improve the overall quality of EBM journal clubs, may encourage active participation and improve critical appraisal skills. They also rated the vote cards more favorably than traditional hand voting and agree that vote cards should be used in future EBM journal clubs. Conclusion: We suggest the regular and routine use of vote cards in EBM journal clubs.”  Access to full-text through HINARI

Mark D Schwartz, Deborah Dowell, et al. Improving journal club presentations, or, I can present that paper in under 10 minutes.
Evid Based Med 2007;12:66-68

“Our aim was to help …distill an article down to its core while systematically reviewing its validity and telling a compelling story…Brief article presentations are structurally similar to the brief case presentations we do all the time. On work rounds, morning report, or sign-out, the goal is to communicate the essential information about a patient in a concise, mostly standardized format that is easily digested by the listener... We introduce this model of journal club presentation to medical residents in a small group workshop early during internship and then deepen residents’ skills during our clinical epidemiology course in the second year. Residents’ skills are reinforced and refined throughout residency at a weekly journal club attended by 10–20 residents, fellows, and faculty. We use the 10 step guideline to help presenters increase efficiency in assessing a study’s validity and results and to increase confidence in limiting a presentation to the core essentials. Faculty members model the process and residents learn through reflective practice.” Free full-text

Kelly AM, Cronin P. Setting up, maintaining and evaluating an evidence based radiology journal club: the University of Michigan experience.
Acad Radiol. 2010 Sep;17(9):1073-8. Epub 2010 Jun 14.

„The authors outline the steps involved in setting up, maintaining, and evaluating an evidence-based imaging journal club, using their collective experience at the University of Michigan. The article opens with a background to journal clubs in general and describes their changing purpose or role in recent decades. This should act as a useful framework or "how-to" guide to get things started. Different journal club formats are discussed, and the pros and cons of each are outlined. Suggestions for obtaining feedback from residents and for performing evaluation are also provided. In addition, useful information, references and links to useful resources are also given throughout the article. Finally, the authors share the positive (and negative) experiences of setting up, maintaining, and evaluating the University of Michigan's journal club, now in its third year. The authors welcome feedback from readers who have been involved in evidence-based imaging journal clubs to share their experiences, good and bad.“ Access to full-text through HINARI.

Pitner ND, Fox CA, Riess ML. Implementing a successful journal club in an anesthesiology residency program.
F1000Res. 2013 Jan 16;2:15. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-15.v1. eCollection 2013.

„Journal clubs are an integral element of residency training. We report the successful implementation of a monthly structured journal club in our anesthesia residency program. Based on resident surveys before and one year after its start, the journal club led to a significantly higher confidence in how to critically appraise literature and present a manuscript. The journal club also improved the residents' ability to search the literature and their statistical knowledge, skills that are essential in the practice of evidence-based medicine. We describe key features that may aid other training programs in organizing a stimulating an educational and sustainable journal club„ Free full-text


F.  Resources for journal clubs

Cochrane Journal Club articles

Relevant and interesting papers to discuss at your next journal club meeting. This web-site provides everything you need to present the paper at your Journal Club meeting. Cochrane Journal Club is a free, monthly publication that introduces a recent Cochrane review, together with relevant background information, a podcast explaining the key points of the review, discussion questions to help you to explore the review methods and findings in more detail, and downloadable PowerPoint slides containing key figures and tables.  You can even contact the review authors with your questions.  Aimed at trainees, researchers and clinicians alike, every Cochrane Journal Club article is specially selected from the hundreds of new and updated reviews published in each issue of The Cochrane Library representing diverse clinical topics, and each one focuses on a review of special interest, such as practice-changing reviews, new methodology and evidence-based practice.

PedsCCM Evidence-Based Journal Club

The PedsCCM Evidence-Based Journal Club hopes to help by regular publication of critical reviews of clinical trials pertinent to the practice of pediatric critical care. The goals of this publication are:

  • To bring to the attention of the pediatric critical care community important and timely publications of clinical trials
  • To provide critical analyses of such trials in a systematic fashion
  • To encourage this evidence-based approach to the medical literature and to our care of patients

Annals of Family Medicine Journal Club: A RADICAL Approach

 In each issue of the Annals, the editors select an article or articles and provide discussion questions. Readers are encouraged  to take a RADICAL approach  (RADICAL stands for Read, Ask, Discuss, Inquire, Collaborate, Act and Learn) to these materials, and to post a summary of your conversation in TRACK, the Annals online discussion. Annals Journal Club discussion questions can be used to stimulate reflection and conversation. In particular, these questions are designed to help journal club participants, a) identify key points addressed by the article, and put them in context, b) discuss the scientific validity of the findings, and c) consider how the findings apply to practice, policy, education or research. The current selection(s)  and previous selections  include article citation(s), discussion tips, and discussion questions.

Journal Clubs – HLWIKI

An open, freely-accessible wiki with entries about Health information sources & services, social media for information professionals and information technology topics. The article provides an overview of journal club initiatives, the role of librarians, and references to main publications on the subject.

Evidence-based Journal Clubs Newsletter

I have created it with tool.  This weekly newspaper includes news from Twitter, blogs and RSS feeds that are added automatically. You can subscribe to get it by e-mail. It usually contains 4-5 new items. You can see previous issues using Archive option on the web-site.! Evidence-based journal clubs

I have also created this online journal using! tool. It includes information about web-sites and new publications on journal clubs, evidence-based practice and related topics that I add manually on a daily basis. It has a search capability, so one can search through all the entries since 2013, when I have started compiling this resource.


Compiled by Irina Ibraghimova, PhD
Library and Information Management Specialist
HealthConnect  International

American International Health Alliance Knowledge Management Program

last updated November 2014