Monday, December 21, 2015

Good Tidings to You!

This week is the last before we leave for the holiday break. I will post no lengthy blog this week, but instead will wish you the very best for this Christmas season, and even better for the coming new year. We will be back in action in 2016!

Happy New Year to you all!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Two New Papers

Shin Y, Shin JS, Lee J, Lee YJ, Kim M, Ahn YA, Park KB, Shin BC, Lee MS, Kim JH, Cho JH, He IH.  survey among Korea Medicine doctors (KMDs) in Korea on patterns of integrative Korean Medicine practice for lumbar intervertebral disc displacement: Preliminary research for clinical practice guidelines. BMC Comple Alternative Med 201515:432, DOI: 10.1186/s12906-015-0956-1

Background: Patients seek Korean Medicine (KM) treatment for a broad range of complaints in Korea, but predominantly for musculoskeletal disorders. We investigated lumbar Intervertebral Disc Displacement (IDD) practice patterns of Korean Medicine doctors (KMDs) within a hospital/clinic network specializing in KM treatment of spinal disorders through survey of diagnosis and treatment methods.

Methods: Questionnaires on clinical practice patterns of KM treatment for lumbar IDD were distributed to 149 KMDs on January 25th, 2015. The questionnaire included items on sociodemographic characteristics, clinical practice patterns, and preferred method of lumbar IDD diagnosis and treatment. KMDs were asked to grade each treatment method for absolute and relative importance in treatment and prognosis, and safety.
Results: A total 79.19 % KMDs (n = 118/149) completed the survey, and results showed that integrative care mainly consisting of acupuncture, herbal medicine, Chuna manipulation, and pharmacopuncture was administered to IDD patients. The participant KMDs largely relied on radiological findings (MRI and X-ray) for diagnosis. ‘Eight principle pattern identification’, ‘Qi and Blood syndrome differentiation’ and ‘Meridian system syndrome differentiation’ theories were generally used for KM syndrome differentiation. The most frequently prescribed herbal medication was Chungpa-jun, and most commonly used Chuna technique was ‘sidelying lumbar extension displacement treatment’. IDD patients received 1.9 ± 0.3 treatment sessions/week, and KMDs estimated that an average 9.6 ± 3.5 weeks were needed for 80 % pain relief.

Conclusions: This is the first study to investigate expert opinion on KM treatment of IDD. Further randomized controlled trials and clinical guidelines based on clinical practice patterns of KM are called for

Hung CH, Lin CY. Using concept mapping to evaluate knowledge structure in problem-based learning. BMC Med Educ201515:212, DOI: 10.1186/s12909-015-0496-x

Background: Many educational programs incorporate problem-based learning (PBL) to promote students’ learning; however, the knowledge structure developed in PBL remains unclear. The aim of this study was to use concept mapping to generate an understanding of the use of PBL in the development of knowledge structures.
Methods: Using a quasi-experimental study design, we employed concept mapping to illustrate the effects of PBL by examining the patterns of concepts and differences in the knowledge structures of students taught with and without a PBL approach. Fifty-two occupational therapy undergraduates were involved in the study and were randomly divided into PBL and control groups. The PBL group was given two case scenarios for small group discussion, while the control group continued with ordinary teaching and learning. Students were asked to make concept maps after being taught about knowledge structure. A descriptive analysis of the morphology of concept maps was conducted in order to compare the integration of the students’ knowledge structures, and statistical analyses were done to understand the differences between groups.

Results: Three categories of concept maps were identified as follows: isolated, departmental, and integrated. The students in the control group constructed more isolated maps, while the students in the PBL group tended toward integrated mapping. Concept Relationships, Hierarchy Levels, and Cross Linkages in the concept maps were significantly greater in the PBL group; however, examples of concept maps did not differ significantly between the two groups.
Conclusions: The data indicated that PBL had a strong effect on the acquisition and integration of knowledge. The important properties of PBL, including situational learning, problem spaces, and small group interactions, can help students to acquire more concepts, achieve an integrated knowledge structure, and enhance clinical reasoning.



Monday, December 7, 2015

Remembering the Framework of a Scientific Paper

The general organization of a scientific paper is as follows: abstract; introduction; methods; results, discussion; conclusion; references.

The Abstract should be structured, unless journal protocol says to use a narrative form. The abstract should tell the reader what question you asked, explain what methods were used to answer the question, what was found and what was concluded. All in 250 words or less.
The Introduction should, well, introduce the topic of the paper, describe briefly some background information the gap in the literature your paper will address, and close by providing the reader with the actual research question.
The Methods section should describe how the research was done. It should provide enough detail that an interested reader could replicate what you did. It is, for example, not enough to simply say that some was adjusted using side-posture positioning; your paper should fully describe how the adjustment was rendered.
The Results should provide the answer to the question you asked, along with supplementary information that has helped address the question. Generally, this is provided as group mean values, depending on the kind of paper and the statistics used.
The Discussion provides context and discusses the findings of your paper in light of what is already known. It helps to put your work into that larger context and also again addresses what is new and novel about your work. It usually concludes by providing additional research direction.
The Conclusion really just summarizes what you have already reported in your paper. It, too, can offer future direction.
References are done to journal style. In most biomedical journals, this is using Vancouver formatting. This is a numerical system. Note that variants of this system exist, so note the journal style requirements.
This is the briefest of overviews of a scientific paper, but it helps to keep this all in mind when you sit down to write.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 2015- Summary

(Dear Colleagues- this is the specific language offered by the US Department of Helath and Human Services, related to changes in the Common Rule, 45CFR46, which governs our use of human subjects in research. In future articles I will discuss the implications of this proposed rule change).

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and fifteen other Federal Departments and Agencies have announced proposed revisions to modernize, strengthen, and make more effective the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects that was promulgated as a Common Rule in 1991.  A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2015 (PDF 1063 KB). The NPRM seeks comment on proposals to better protect human subjects involved in research, while facilitating valuable research and reducing burden, delay, and ambiguity for investigators.

Some of the major changes being proposed that will better protect research subjects and help build public trust are the rules relating to informed consent. With regard to informed consent in general (such as consent to participating in clinical trials), the rules would be significantly tightened to make sure that the process becomes more meaningful. Consent forms would no longer be able to be unduly long documents, with the most important information often buried and hard to find. They would need to give appropriate details about the research that is most relevant to a person’s decision to participate in the study, such as information a reasonable person would want to know, and present that information in a way that highlights the key information. In addition, to assure that these rules do indeed change current practices, there will be a one-time posting requirement for the consent forms for clinical trials, so that anyone drafting a consent form will do so knowing that it will eventually be subject to public scrutiny.

In addition, informed consent would generally be required for secondary research with a biospecimen (for example, part of a blood sample that is left over after being drawn for clinical purposes), even if the investigator is not being given information that would enable him or her to identify whose biospecimen it is. Such consent would not need to be obtained for each specific research use of the biospecimen, but rather could be obtained using a “broad” consent form in which a person would give consent to future unspecified research uses.

The NPRM also attempts to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the oversight system by making the level of review more proportional to the seriousness of the harm or danger to be avoided. Research that poses greater risk to subjects should receive more oversight and deliberation than less risky research. The NPRM seeks to avoid requirements that do not enhance protection and impose burden, which can decrease efficiency, waste resources, erode trust, and obscure the true ethical challenges that require careful deliberation and stakeholder input. Cumbersome and outdated regulatory standards overwhelm and distract institutions, IRBs, and investigators in ways that stymie efforts to appropriately address the real risks and benefits of research. 

The result of these types of changes, as the NPRM proposes to implement them, is that some studies that currently require IRB review would now become exempt. Some that are currently exempt would specifically be declared as outside the scope of the regulations (“excluded”), and thus would not require any administrative or IRB review. Further, in terms of determining when a study is exempt, a web-based “decision tool” will be created. That decision tool will provide a determination of whether or not a study is exempt. That result, so long as the tool was provided with accurate information, will be presumed by the Common Rule agencies to be an appropriate determination of exempt status. It is expected that in many instances the tool would be used by the investigators themselves, thus obviating both the need for further review and the concern that the institution might be subjecting itself to future liability by allowing investigators to use the tool.  For all of the excluded and exempt research activities, this NPRM also affirms the importance of applying the ethical principle of respect for persons, in addition to the importance of abiding by this principle in fully regulated non-exempt research involving human subjects. 

The following list encompasses the most significant changes to the Common Rule proposed in the NPRM:
1.    Improve informed consent by increasing transparency and by imposing stricter new requirements regarding the information that must be given to prospective subjects, and the manner in which it is given to them, to better assure that subjects are appropriately informed before they decide to enroll in a research study.

2.    Generally require informed consent for the use of stored biospecimens in secondary research (for example, part of a blood sample that is left over after being drawn for clinical purposes), even if the investigator is not being given information that would enable him or her to identify whose biospecimen it is. That consent would generally be obtained by means of broad consent (i.e., consent for future, unspecified research studies) to the storage and eventual research use of biospecimens.

3.    Exclude from coverage under the Common Rule certain categories of activities that should be deemed not to be research, are inherently low risk, or where protections similar to those usually provided by IRB review are separately mandated.

4.    Add additional categories of exempt research to accommodate changes in the scientific landscape and to better calibrate the level of review to the level of risk involved in the research. A new process would allow studies to be determined to be exempt without requiring any administrative or IRB review. Certain exempt and all non-exempt research would be required to provide privacy safeguards for biospecimens and identifiable private information. New categories include:
  • a.    certain research involving benign interventions with adult subjects;
  • b.    research involving educational tests, surveys, interviews or observations of public behavior when sensitive information may be collected, provided that data security and information privacy protections policies are followed;
  • c.    secondary research use of identifiable private information originally collected as part of a non-research activity, where notice of such possible use was given;
  • d.    storing or maintaining biospecimens and identifiable private information for future, unspecified secondary research studies, or conducting such studies, when a broad consent template to be promulgated by the Secretary of HHS is used, information and biospecimen privacy safeguards are followed, and limited IRB approval of the consent process used is obtained.
5.    Change the conditions and requirements for waiver or alteration of consent such that waiver of consent for research involving biospecimens (regardless of identifiability) will occur only in very rare circumstances.

6.    Mandate that U.S. institutions engaged in cooperative research rely on a single IRB for that portion of the research that takes place within the United States, with certain exceptions.  To encourage the use of IRBs that are otherwise not affiliated with or operated by an assurance-holding institution (“unaffiliated IRBs”), this NPRM also includes a proposal that would hold such IRBs directly responsible for compliance with the Common Rule.

7.    Eliminate the continuing review requirement for studies that undergo expedited review and for studies that have completed study interventions and are merely analyzing data or involve only observational follow-up in conjunction with standard clinical care.

8.    Extend the scope of the policy to cover all clinical trials, regardless of funding source, conducted at a U.S. institution that receives federal funding for non-exempt human subjects research.

In sum, the proposed modifications described above are designed to continue to uphold the ethical principles upon which the Common Rule is based, as applied to the current social, cultural, and technological environment.


Monday, November 2, 2015

New Papers

Kelly MP, Heath I, Howick J, Greenhalgh T. The importance of values in evidence-based medicine. BMC Medical Ethics 2015, 16:69  doi:10.1186/s12910-015-0063-3

Background: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has always required integration of patient values with ‘best’ clinical evidence. It is widely recognized that scientific practices and discoveries, including those of EBM, are value-laden. But to date, the science of EBM has focused primarily on methods for reducing bias in the evidence, while the role of values in the different aspects of the EBM process has been almost completely ignored.
Discussion: In this paper, we address this gap by demonstrating how a consideration of values can enhance every aspect of EBM, including: prioritizing which tests and treatments to investigate, selecting research designs and methods, assessing effectiveness and efficiency, supporting patient choice and taking account of the limited time and resources available to busy clinicians. Since values are integral to the practice of EBM, it follows that the highest standards of EBM require values to be made explicit, systematically explored, and integrated into decision making.

Summary: Through ‘values based’ approaches, EBM’s connection to the humanitarian principles upon which it was founded will be strengthened.

Pearce W, Raman S, Turner A. Randomised trials in context: practical problems and social aspects of evidence-based medicine and policy. Trials 2015, 16:394  doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0917-5

Randomised trials can provide excellent evidence of treatment benefit in medicine. Over the last 50 years, they have been cemented in the regulatory requirements for the approval of new treatments. Randomised trials make up a large and seemingly high-quality proportion of the medical evidence-base. However, it has also been acknowledged that a distorted evidence-base places a severe limitation on the practice of evidence-based medicine (EBM). We describe four important ways in which the evidence from randomised trials is limited or partial: the problem of applying results, the problem of bias in the conduct of randomised trials, the problem of conducting the wrong trials and the problem of conducting the right trials the wrong way. These problems are not intrinsic to the method of randomised trials or the EBM philosophy of evidence; nevertheless, they are genuine problems that undermine the evidence that randomised trials provide for decision-making and therefore undermine EBM in practice. Finally, we discuss the social dimensions of these problems and how they highlight the indispensable role of judgement when generating and using evidence for medicine. This is the paradox of randomised trial evidence: the trials open up expert judgment to scrutiny, but this scrutiny in turn requires further expertise.

Tsakitzidis G, Timmermans O, Callewaert N, Truijen S, Meulmans H, Van Royen P. Participant evaluation of an education module on interprofessional collaboration for students in healthcare studies. BMC Medical Education 2015, 15:188  doi:10.1186/s12909-015-0477-0

Background: Interprofessional collaboration is considered a key-factor to deliver the highest quality of care. Interprofessional collaboration (IPC) assumes a model of working together, in particular with awareness of the process of interprofessional collaboration, to develop an integrated and cohesive answer to the needs of the client/family/population. Educational modules are developed in response to a perceived need to improve interprofessional collaboration for the benefit of patientcare. Up until 2005 no explicit module on interprofessional collaboration existed in the education programs of the Antwerp University Association (AUHA). During a decade the ‘Interprofessional Collaboration In Healthcare (IPCIHC) – module’ is organised and evaluated by its participants.

Methods: One group, post-test design was used to gather data from the participating students using a structured questionnaire. Data was collected between March 2005 and March 2014 from participating final year students in healthcare educational programs.
Results: 3568 (84 % overall response) students evaluated the IPCIHC module from 2005 up to 2014. Over 80 % of the participants were convinced the IPCIHC increased their knowledge and changed their understanding that it will impact their future professional relationships, and felt a greater understanding about problem-solving in healthcare teams. Even though the results indicate that the goals of the IPCIHC module were achieved, less than 60 % of the participants experienced a change in attitude towards other professional groups.

Conclusions: Despite the positive outcomes from the participants, the challenge still remains to keep on educating future healthcare providers in interprofessional collaboration in order to achieve an increase in interprofessional behaviour towards other professional groups. Research is needed to investigate the effectiveness of undergraduate programs on the quality and safety of patientcare in practice.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Brightspace Calendar: How to Create an Event
I am trying to see if I can embed a video in my blogger entry. So, here we go. This will look at creating something for the calendar in Brightspace.

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Musing on Technology and Teaching

This will be a brief entry, as CCE is visiting with us for the next three days. But I was thinking about technology, and how it applies in the classroom and clinical settings, for educational purposes. It is clear that today’s students learn in ways somewhat alien to those of us who are older, who learned via the traditional teaching method of lecture and lab. I grew up in that world, and am comfortable with taking notes, reading books and studying hard. Our students are not.
This was made clear to me in a couple of ways. The first is that when I came to class last Thursday morning, my early students (there before class was to begin) were, without exception, sitting in class looking at either their tablet or their smartphone. They were not taking to each other; rather, they were reading something, either a text message or a webpage of some sort. And most of our students now come to class armed with such technology, and as a result they are now less likely to interact in class. This is now how they communicate. Think about it- have you ever received a text message from someone in your office suite who could have easily walked 20 feet to your office? Happens to me daily- text messages are the way people communicate now- and I find it impersonal and a bit passive aggressive, to be honest.

The second thing is that we no longer need to remember information. Google has become our collective memory; whatever piece of information you need can be found there. Of course, once we find a piece of information, we need to verify that it is true. If nothing else, the information posted on Facebook is often twisted and wrong, yet is posted by people who believe it is true because it fits in with some sort of preconceived belief- political, scientific- they already hold. Thank goodness for websites such as snopes. Com, which often deconstructs or exposes the falsehood.

But that is why critical thinking is so important. That is the skill we need to focus on, training our students to think critically about the information they find. I think we do this fairly well, and we do so by yoking technology, such as Brightspace, to our abilities as teachers and clinicians.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Brightspace: First News Item

Best Practice: First News Item

The folks at Brightspace were kind enough to provide us with a Best Practices users’ guide, from which the below appears on page 17 (The Basics: D2LBrightspace Mechanics and Best Practices. Normandale Community College, 2015:17)

First News Item

The first thing new students will see is your Course Homepage, and the first News item. Among other things, that first News item should direct students specifically to a “Read Me First” file in the Content area. Providing a link in the first News item to it is also good – it avoids the phrase, Go to the Materials tab in the upper banner, click on Content, and then click on “Read Me First”, or something like that. This is fine, but a link is a quicker means to the goal of providing definite, easy directions. The first News item should contain, AT A MINIMUM:
·        Welcome
·        Instructor Name, Course Name, Formal Course Number
·        Instructor Contact Methods and Hours (phone, email, and office location. State when you will/will not be available).
·        Instructions to “Start Here” or “Read me First”
·        Online office hours (provided via group chat) one hour/week/three credit course.
·        Show some personality! Enter your credentials, a photo, teaching philosophy, etc.
·        The classroom delivered courses should have a notice that the syllabus is posted and other directions as to how you intend to use the course.

 Ongoing News Items

·        Current / newest News item goes on top, keep old ones below for reference.
·        Always repeat contact info, office hours in current News Item (copy and paste), unless you have an Instructor Contact widget on your homepage.
·        Keep News items short, bulleted, include a graphic, a link, etc. Students won’t read long items.
·        Try to change News items each week. More frequently is even better! Use it to have a conversation with your students like you would in class.
·        If you use the News area to direct students to assignments for the week, do it for each week of the course, to be consistent. Students will grow to depend on it.
·        Make them relevant – insert links to current “real” news items pertaining to your course, or a video.
·        Some people use the news area to display the content. Links that direct them to the content from the News is an option often used. In the Content area, you may create lesson modules that have links to all your content.


Monday, September 14, 2015

How to Set Up Your Grade Book in Brightspace

This is reprinted from Brightspace documentation, located at

Setting up the grade book is one of the first things you should do when preparing your course.

First Steps
·         Consult your course syllabus for a list of all assessment items

·         Decide on a grading system

·         Determine if your institution uses a grading scheme, and if you will need to recreate it for your grade book

·         Decide how you want to group grade items, and what weight those groups should have

·         Decide how you want to calculate your final grades

·         The Grades Setup Wizard

Use the Grades Setup Wizard to set up your grade book for the course. When you access the Grades tool, the Grades Setup Wizard displays by default until you set up your grade book. The Grades Setup Wizard takes you through a 7 step process to set up your gradebook.
1.       Select a Grading System. You can select Weighted Points, or Formula. For more information on selecting a grading system, see the one-paged “How to select a grading system for your grade book.”

2.       Determine which type of final grade calculation you want to release to students. You can select either Calculated Final Grade or Adjusted Final Grade.

3.       Determine how much you want to treat ungraded items. You can select either Drop ungraded items or Treat ungraded items as 0. You can also keep users’ final grades up to date automatically by selecting Automatically keep final grade updated.

4.       Choose a default grading scheme. Organization Schemes are provided by your institution, or you can create a custom Course Scheme. See “Creating grade schemes for more information.

5.       Control how many decimal points display for items in the grade book.

6.       Control what your student see when they look at their grade books, including Grade Details, Decimals Displayed, Characters Displayed and Final Grade Calculation

7.       Review and finalize grade book set up decision. Click Finish to finalize your decisions or Go Back to make changes.

The link at page top will bring you to the page where this appears. There is some additional information available there that may help give you additional guidance, and you will also find links to the “Creating grade schemes” page.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New Papers from Biomed Central

Khoiriyah U, Roberts C, Jorm C, Ven der Vleuten CPM. Enhancing students’ learning in problem based learning: validation of a self-assessment scale for active learning and critical thinking. BMC Med Educ 2015, 15:140  doi:10.1186/s12909-015-0422-2

Background: Problem based learning (PBL) is a powerful learning activity but fidelity to intended models may slip and student engagement wane, negatively impacting learning processes, and outcomes. One potential solution to solve this degradation is by encouraging self-assessment in the PBL tutorial. Self-assessment is a central component of the self-regulation of student learning behaviours. There are few measures to investigate self-assessment relevant to PBL processes. We developed a Self-assessment Scale on Active Learning and Critical Thinking (SSACT) to address this gap. We wished to demonstrated evidence of its validity in the context of PBL by exploring its internal structure.

Methods: We used a mixed methods approach to scale development. We developed scale items from a qualitative investigation, literature review, and consideration of previous existing tools used for study of the PBL process. Expert review panels evaluated its content; a process of validation subsequently reduced the pool of items. We used structural equation modelling to undertake a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the SSACT and coefficient alpha.
Results: The 14 item SSACT consisted of two domains “active learning” and “critical thinking.” The factorial validity of SSACT was evidenced by all items loading significantly on their expected factors, a good model fit for the data, and good stability across two independent samples. Each subscale had good internal reliability (>0.8) and strongly correlated with each other.

Conclusions: The SSACT has sufficient evidence of its validity to support its use in the PBL process to encourage students to self-assess. The implementation of the SSACT may assist students to improve the quality of their learning in achieving PBL goals such as critical thinking and self-directed learning.

Tzeng DS, Wu YC, Hsu JY. Latent variable modeling and its implications for institutional review board review: variables that delay the reviewing process. BMC Med Ethics 2015, 16:57  doi:10.1186/s12910-015-0050-8

Background: To investigate the factors related to approval after review by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), the structure equation model was used to analyze the latent variables ‘investigators’, ‘vulnerability’ and ‘review process’ for 221 proposals submitted to our IRB.

Methods: The vulnerability factor included vulnerable cases, and studies that involved drug tests and genetic analyses. The principal investigator (PI) factor included the license level of the PI and whether they belonged to our institution. The review factor included administration time, total review time, and revision frequency. The revision frequency and total review time influenced the efficiency of review.
Results: The latent variable of reviewing was the most important factor mediating the PIs and vulnerability to IRB review approval. The local PIs moderated with genetic study and revision frequency had an impact on the review process and mediated non-approval.

Conclusions: Better guidance of the investigators and reviewers might improve the efficiency with which IRBs function.

Chapman PD, Stomski NJ, Losco B, Walker BF. The simulated early learning of cervical spine manipulation technique utilising mannequins. Chiropr Man Ther 2015, 23:23  doi:10.1186/s12998-015-0067-6

Background: Trivial pain or minor soreness commonly follows neck manipulation and has been estimated at one in three treatments. In addition, rare catastrophic events can occur. Some of these incidents have been ascribed to poor technique where the neck is rotated too far. The aims of this study were to design an instrument to measure competency of neck manipulation in beginning students when using a simulation mannequin, and then examine the suitability of using a simulation mannequin to teach the early psychomotor skills for neck chiropractic manipulative therapy.
Methods: We developed an initial set of questionnaire items and then used an expert panel to assess an instrument for neck manipulation competency among chiropractic students. The study sample comprised all 41 fourth year 2014 chiropractic students at Murdoch University. Students were randomly allocated into either a usual learning or mannequin group. All participants crossed over to undertake the alternative learning method after four weeks. A chi-square test was used to examine differences between groups in the proportion of students achieving an overall pass mark at baseline, four weeks, and eight weeks.

Results: This study was conducted between January and March 2014. We successfully developed an instrument of measurement to assess neck manipulation competency in chiropractic students. We then randomised 41 participants to first undertake either “usual learning” (n = 19) or “mannequin learning” (n = 22) for early neck manipulation training. There were no significant differences between groups in the overall pass rate at baseline (χ 2  = 0.10, p = 0.75), four weeks (χ 2  = 0.40, p = 0.53), and eight weeks (χ 2  = 0.07, p = 0.79).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the use of a mannequin does not affect the manipulation competency grades of early learning students at short term follow up. Our findings have potentially important safety implications as the results indicate that students could initially gain competence in neck manipulation by using mannequins before proceeding to perform neck manipulation on each other.

Monday, August 31, 2015

ACC Call for Scientific Submissions

Association of Chiropractic Colleges
Educational Conference and Research Agenda Conference
March 17-19, 2016
ACC-RAC Call for Scientific Submissions
due by September 15, 2015
Conference Theme:  The theme for the 2016 conference is “Best Practices;” however, submissions may be in any of the categories listed below.
Categories:  The call for ACC-RAC scientific submissions invites original research that promotes the dissemination and discussion of new information in the following research categories:
·         Basic Science (e.g. experimental trials, quantitative basic science research, etc.)
·         Education (e.g. classroom research, quantitative/qualitative education/administration research, etc.)
·         Clinical (e.g. clinical trials, quantitative/qualitative clinical research, cohort studies, etc.)
·         Case Studies/Reports (e.g. clinical case reports or case series)
·         Public Health (e.g. population health studies, preventive care, etc.)
·         Integration (e.g. research on integration of chiropractic services into hospital settings, etc.)
·         Conference Theme - “Best Practices” (e.g. best practices in education, research, clinical practice, chiropractic profession, college administration, healthcare, etc.)
Important Information:  Please note the following:
1.     Presentation of accepted work is expected.  Authors must register and attend the conference to present.  An author who does not register and present an accepted work will be disqualified from submitting/presenting for the following two years.
2.     It is the author’s responsibility to find funding to register and attend the conference.  It is strongly recommended that funding is secured or confirmed in advance of submission.  Registration for the conference is required, or the invitation to present will be revoked.  Only authors may present at the conference. 
3.     If accepted, a 195-word maximum abstract will be printed in the conference proceedings in the Journal of Chiropractic Education.  This will allow you to publish your completed paper in any journal you wish.
4.     Due to time and space limitations, and ability to cover poster presentations, a maximum of 2 poster presentations per author/presenter are allowed. 
5.     If the submission does not meet the submission requirements (e.g. not a completed research study, missing items, etc.), it will not be accepted for review.  The ACC-RAC peer review chair will not contact authors if any submission does not meet the requirements.  Notification will be sent out as a rejection notice.  Concept submissions and incomplete works will be rejected.
6.     It is the responsibility of the primary author to ensure that all requirements are met.  The primary author will be the contact person responsible for submission of all required materials and all correspondence.  Please do not send communications through a third party, staff member, or co-author.
7.     The peer review board may request additional information for any item that is submitted.  This may be for internal quality control purposes or to check on materials if a concern is raised.
8.     If the peer review board confirms that there is an inappropriate submission, it will be disqualified.  Examples of inappropriate submissions include, but are not limited to, submissions that have been previously submitted at ACC-RAC, incomplete submissions, concept submission, duplicate submissions, no human subjects/ethics review when one was necessary (excludes expedited review), no signed patient consent form for case reports/series, non-authors listed as authors, plagiarized work, etc.
9.     Only emailed submissions to the ACC-RAC peer review committee chair will be considered.  No faxed, mailed, or hand delivered submissions will be considered.
All submissions will be evaluated for completeness, strength of contribution to the profession, and relevance to the ACC-RAC conference.  Submissions will be reviewed by the peer review committee based upon the following criteria:
·         Practical Significance
·         Originality
·         Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
·         Quality of Experimental or Descriptive Design
·         Discussion/Findings/Results
·         Clarity of Presentation of Findings
·         Conclusions
·         Interpretation of Results
·         Implications for Chiropractic Education/Research/Practice
·         Citation of Appropriate Literature
·         Applicability to the Chiropractic Profession/Classroom Use/Future Research/Critical Concerns/Etc.
·         Completed Study
·         Overall Rating of the Paper
Instructions:  This call for scientific submissions invites original research that will promote the dissemination and discussion of new information.  To be considered, please submit all of the following items no later than September 15, 2015:
           Blinded Submission
·         Word Count - 2100 words or less for peer reviewers to assess the quality of completed work.  References are expected but not included in word count.
·         Completed Study - Incomplete work is not accepted (e.g. an idea for a project that has not yet begun, a project begun but no data collected, etc.).
·         Headings - Please include headings, such as Title, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, and References.
·         Blinding - Please omit author names and/or institutional affiliations anywhere in the title or text of the file.
·         Graphs/Tables - Include no more than two of any combination in the Word document:  diagrams, figures, pictures, graphs, or tables (e.g. one graph and one table).  Please do not submit separate files, videos, or slide shows.  Refrain from including websites or links to websites, videos, etc., anywhere in the blinded file. 
·         Size - Use 12-point font and double-spacing.  File size limit is 2MB.
·         File Name Protocol - Name the file Last Name, First Name, Conference Year, Number of Submission, and Proposal.  For example:  StevensonTammi2016-1-Proposal
Please submit these materials to the following website:  Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will not be accepted. 
·         Word Count - 195 words or less for conference proceedings only; abstracts will be published in the Journal of Chiropractic Education if submission is accepted. 
·         Headings - Please include subheadings in the abstract.  For research studies, use the subheadings Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion.  For case reports, use the subheadings Objective, Clinical Features, Intervention and Outcome, and Conclusion.  Please do not include references, pictures, tables, or figures in the abstract.
·         Blinding - Please omit title, author information, institutional affiliations, and/or references in the abstract field.
·         Size - Use 12 point font and double-spacing.
·         File Name Protocol - Name the file Last Name, First Name, Conference Year, Number of Submission, and Abstract.  For example:  StevensonTammi2016-1-Abstract
Please submit these materials to the following website:  Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will not be accepted. 
           Signature Form
·         Required Signatures - Corresponding author must collect and submit signed authorship forms for all authors.
·         Commitment - Presenting author must register and attend the conference.  Funding should be confirmed in advance of submission.  Submission is a commitment from authors to present accepted submissions at the conference. 
·         File Name Protocol - Name the file Last Name, First Name, Conference Year, Number of Submission, and Authorship.  For example:  StevensonTammi2016-1-Signature
Please submit these materials to  Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will not be accepted. 
           Ethics Materials
·         Human Subjects Research - Studies involving human subjects (surveys, observational, and any research studies) must be approved by proper Institutional Review Board (IRB’s)/Research Ethics Boards (REB’s)/Ethics Committees.  State these processes in the blinded submission.  Questions should be directed to your institution’s board/committee.  Submit a copy of the signed approval, expedited review, or exemption letter from the IRB/REB/Ethics Chair. For studies not involving human subjects (e.g. literature review), this document is not required. 
·         Case Studies - Case studies (case reports) require consent forms, unless your institution also requires IRB/REB/Ethics review.  For case studies, submit a patient consent to publish form from your institution, a journal, or other consent form.
·         File Name Protocol - Name the file Last Name, First Name, Conference Year, Number of Submission, and/or Ethics/Consent.  For example:  StevensonTammi2016-1-Ethics (for IRB/REB/Ethics Committee documents) or StevensonTammi2016-1-Consent (for Case Study/Report Consent Forms).
Please submit these materials to  Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will not be accepted. 
Process:  Once all items are submitted, the submission will be evaluated by a blinded peer review committee, and these results will be sent to the ACC-RAC planning committee for review and final decision.  If accepted, all presenters must register and attend the conference.  Funding should be confirmed in advance of the submission, as submission is a commitment from the authors of presentation at the conference, if accepted.
Notification:  Corresponding authors will be notified of peer review results by Mid-November 2015.  For submissions that are accepted, an author is required to register and present the work at the conference.  All accepted presenters must register for the conference no later than December 15, 2015. 
If you have questions or concerns about this process, please contact:
Dana J. Lawrence, DC, MMedEd, MA
ACC-RAC Peer Review Chair
(563) 884-5302


Association of Chiropractic Colleges

Educational Conference and Research Agenda Conference

March 17-19, 2016


ACC-RAC Scientific Submission Signature Form

due by September 15, 2015


INSTRUCTIONS:   The presenting author should collect all signatures.  If more space is needed, or if authors are at different locations, please use additional pages.  Submit this completed form scanned as one document by September 15, 2015.


By signing this form:


1.       If accepted, I/we understand that I/we are responsible for all our own costs (e.g. travel, hotel, conference registration, etc.).  I/we understand that I/we are responsible to secure funding in advance of the submission and that lack of funding is not an acceptable rationale for withdrawing.

2.       I/we understand that presentation of an accepted submission at the conference is required. Authors of accepted submissions must register, attend, and be present at the scheduled session. 

3.       Submission is a commitment to present. I/We understand that withdrawing after acceptance will prevent us from submitting to future ACC-RAC annual conferences.

4.       I/We confirm that each of us qualify as an author and presenter of this submission, am/are responsible for all of its content, and give permission for (1) its presentation if accepted to the ACC-RAC conference, (2) the publication of the abstract  in the proceeding within the Journal of Chiropractic Education, and (3) am/are capable of presenting/defending all of its content

5.       I/we confirm that appropriate IRB/REB/Ethics Committee documents and/or patient consent to publish/present forms have been secured and are attached to the submission.

6.       I/we understand that presentations may not be used to promote any goods, products, or services.  All presentations must be done in a non-commercial and non-self-promotional manner.

7.       I/we will comply with the following due dates:


a.       Forms and materials for all authors are due no later than September 15, 2015.

b.       Presenters must register for the conference no later than December 15, 2015.

c.       PowerPoint files for platform presentations are due no later than March 1, 2016.   Multiple files for a single presentation must be combined into one master file before submitting.


Submission ID# (from Open Conference confirmation email)


Submission Title


Presenting Author (this author will register for the conference and present research)

Printed Name                                       Email Address                          Signature                                 Date


Corresponding/Lead Author (if different than Presenting Author)

Printed Name                                       Email Address                          Signature                                 Date


Co-Author(s) Printed Name                  Email Address                          Signature                                 Date



Please keep a copy of this completed form for your records.

Submit this form by September 15, 2015 to
Association of Chiropractic Colleges

Educational Conference and Research Agenda Conference

March 17-19, 2016


ACC-RAC Patient Case Consent for Publication/Presentation

due by September 15, 2015


Title of Case Study/Series:



Author(s) Names:



As the patient in this case study/series, I hereby give my consent for clinical information relating to my case to be reported at a scientific conference, in conference proceedings, and/or published in a scientific journal.


I understand that my name, initials, and/or any protected health information such as my identification number, billing information, address, etc., will not be published and that efforts will be made to conceal my identity, but that anonymity cannot be guaranteed.


I understand that the material may be published in a journal, the website of a journal, and/or in products derived from the publication. As a result, I understand that the material may be seen by the general public.


Name of Patient: (printed)



Signature of Patient: (or person giving consent on behalf of the patient, if patient is a minor or deceased)



Date Signed:



If you are not the patient, what is your relationship to him/her?  (The person giving consent should be a substitute decision maker, legal guardian, or hold power of attorney for the patient.)



Why is the patient not able to give consent?  (e.g. Is the patient a minor, incapacitated, deceased, etc.?)



If images of the patient’s face or distinctive body markings are to be published, the following section must also be signed in addition to the section above:


As the patient stated above, I give permission for images of my face or distinctive body markings to be published and recognize that I might therefore be identifiable even though my name and initials will not be published.


Signature of Patient: (or person giving consent on behalf of the patient, if patient is a minor or deceased)



Date Signed:




Please keep a copy of this completed form for your records.

Submit this form by September 15, 2015 to