New institute will expand evidence based healthcare


By Mardi Chapman

18 Jun 2019

Professor Paul Glasziou

Evidence-based healthcare researchers and advocates are celebrating the launch of the new Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare at Bond University.

The Institute is a substantial expansion and re-branding of the former Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice established in 2010.

Institute director Professor Paul Glasziou told the limbic they had outgrown the original centre as the impact, reach and the range of their work increased.

The change in structure will help advance the translational uptake and educational impact of their research.

“For example, we are working more directly with health services so we now have an evidence-based practice unit at the Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) which is jointly funded.”

“We’ve done a lot of discovery work here but we needed to make sure it was having an impact both locally and globally as well.”

He said their areas of research wouldn’t change.

“We will still be interested in overdiagnosis and overtreatment, with one of the overtreatments that we specifically work on being overuse of antibiotics and the impact on antibiotic resistance.”

Other streams include the underuse of non-pharmaceutical interventions and the underestimated problem of waste in research.

“Those problem won’t change; it’s the way we work with partners on those that will be changing. We have for example the collaboration with the GCUH, but there are obviously international collaborations as well.”

Professor Glasziou said the Institute hosted the Australasian EQUATOR Centre – one of just four in the world that aim to reduce waste in research by improving the quality of research reporting.

“We have estimated that 85% of research goes to waste because of poor design, non-reporting of the research (about half of it) and very poor reporting of the research that does get published.”

“If you add that together it comes to over $100 billion a year worldwide.”

“Studies are often so poorly reported that no-one else can replicate the research or they can’t interpret it properly because of changes in outcomes measures or incomplete reporting of all of the outcomes.”

“EQUATOR is aimed at improving those problems by both developing reporting guidelines but also training people in how to use reporting guidelines and lobbying journals and funders to make their use mandatory.”

Professor Glasziou said clinicians wanting to support the aims of the Institute could:

  • Make use of tools like the Handbook of Non-Drug Interventions
  • Pay attention to antibiotic stewardship in their practice
  • Be skeptical about overmedicalisation, overdiagnosis and overscreening.

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