Series: “Interview with the Author…”
The badEM crew interviewed Samer Abujaber regarding his newly released article in AfJEM Volume 6 Issue 3 entitled: “Developing metrics for emergency care research in low- and middle-income countries” by Samer Abujaber, Cindy Y. Chang, Teri A. Reynolds, Hani Mowafi, Ziad Obermeyer
Link to open access article: Click here
Corresponding Author (Samer Abujaber) email: email@example.com
Twitter-link – Co-Author (Ziad Obermeyer) @oziadias
1. Tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in this field/this research?
After graduating from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, I joined Dr. Ziad Obermeyer’s research lab at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to partake in emergency care clinical research. I was delighted to join a wide network of physician-researchers dedicated to promoting emergency care development in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This research focus began with one fundamental question: What is the current state of emergency care in LMICs? Answering this question was a first step to understanding the framework available for emergency care delivery and ultimately improving patient outcomes on a global scale. Through this network we obtained unpublished data from various facilities to supplement an extensive literature review of published work.
2. What were the key findings from this study?
The most striking finding from our study is the great variability in research practices and reporting of results that made it difficult to compare facilities and patient outcomes between different emergency care settings. If one study considers the pediatric population to be those under five years of age and another those up to eighteen year of age, making direct comparisons of pediatric burden of disease and patient care outcomes may result in inaccurate conclusions. Similarly, attempting to compare overall mortality rates between facilities is not feasible if one facility makes the decision to admit or discharge a patient within 12 hours, while another may routinely care for their patients post-operatively in the emergency department with a length of stay exceeding several days. We applaud these researchers for making strides towards quality improvement and for conducting clinical research despite known funding shortages and challenging patient volumes. However, the current body of literature does not make it easy to make meaningful or scientifically sound comparisons between studies.
3. What do these findings mean within the African context?
A large portion of studies included in our review originates from Africa. A great deal of progress is being made across the continent through the establishment of emergency medicine residency training programs and medical societies, but more robust data is needed to inform healthcare policy decisions and provide the governmental support for further development of the specialty. To help increase the sheer number of publications and the quality of research we are providing a how-to guide for researchers using a template that will lead them through the stepwise process of study design, implementation, result analysis, and publication. This template was developed with the help of collaborators who are directly involved in clinical emergency care and research across Africa, and our recommendations are relevant to the African researcher.
Check out the full-text open access article: Click here
More about AfJEM (excerpt from their newsletter)
AfJEM is an open access publication in the spirit of bringing #FOAMed to Africa. This is an important consideration, especially in a low to middle income setting where prospective readers, that may benefit from published information, will most likely not be able to access subscription based journal content. The AfJEM has no front end (author) or back end (reader) fees, & on top of that it offers a free Author Assist service that has been shown to reverse one in every four reject decisions (of manuscripts that fall within the journal’s scope) over the last five years.