gms | German Medical Science

21. Jahrestagung des Deutschen Netzwerks Evidenzbasierte Medizin e. V.

Deutsches Netzwerk Evidenzbasierte Medizin e. V.

13. - 15.02.2020, Basel, Schweiz

National and international networks to improve clinical research methodology

Meeting Abstract

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  • Matthias Briel - University of Basel, Department Clinical Research, Basel, Schweiz
  • Shaun Treweek - University of Aberdeen, Health Services Research Unit, Aberdeen, Großbritannien
  • Lars Hemkens - University of Basel, Department Clinical Research, Basel, Schweiz

Nützliche patientenrelevante Forschung. 21. Jahrestagung des Deutschen Netzwerks Evidenzbasierte Medizin. Basel, Schweiz, 13.-15.02.2020. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2020. Doc20ebmS4-V1-06

doi: 10.3205/20ebm022, urn:nbn:de:0183-20ebm0227

Veröffentlicht: 12. Februar 2020

© 2020 Briel et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Background/research question: High quality clinical research is a pre-requisite for high quality evidence to best inform decision making in clinical practice and health policy. However, clinical research faces many challenges and the evidence base to guide the design and conduct of clinical studies, and clinical trials in particular, is globally poor. Research on research (RoR) can identify and monitor problems that can then be addressed and should produce actionable findings and outputs (e.g. tools, guidelines) that are usable by actors and stakeholders in the system. Given the cost of research (money, opportunity, public support, participant’s time etc) and given the level of misbehaviour and avoidable waste in clinical research, RoR offers an opportunity for significant return on investment.

Methods: There are a few researchers scattered within and across countries who conduct or are interested in RoR. To efficiently achieve improvements these researchers need to collaborate and coordinate their efforts, i.e. build networks in order to avoid redundant efforts and create synergies. In Switzerland we recently founded the Swiss clinical Trials Empirical Assessment & Methods (STEAM) Working Group consisting of all Swiss researchers interested in RoR and linked this research initiative to the existing CTU network to support evidence-based research methodology as a means to increase value of clinical research in Switzerland. The Trial Forge initiative founded by Shaun Treweek aims for an international collaboration to make clinical trial processes more efficient and evidence-based.

Results: In our talk we will introduce several national and international networks to improve clinical research methodology, illustrate their aims and work, and discuss their linkage to all relevant stakeholders in clinical research.

Conclusion: Concerted efforts in terms of national and international networks are needed to efficiently generate evidence on clinical research methodology to overcome pressing problems and to meet current challenges.

Competing interests: MB and LH are founding members of the STEAM Working Group and members of Trial Forge; ST is founder of Trial Forge. The authors have no other conflicts of interest.