Don’t stop working
Always keep searching for the water pump
Another conference’s over. This one is among my favourites because it’s about Cochrane collaboration. It attracted around 70 delegates who came to Queens university in Belfast this year.
Hearing and talking about my/ fellow reviewers’ experiences of doing SRs made me think about what was special different about my own experience or review:
- it was my first review
- I’ve applied a truly systematic approach, which received praise from my quality advisor (see previous blog post)
- it was real quick
- I had multiple presentations and non-peer reviewed articles about the review
- I worked for 2 universities
- I’ve used EPPI-reviewer software, unlike many of my fellow colleagues
- I’ve used a lot of support from our health information specialists
- it was done within a unique Health Research Board of Ireland (HRB) fellowships scheme
- I couldn’t have done it without a strong support from my co-authors and the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol review group (CDAG)
|A copy of my cochrane review can be accessed here:|
Jan Klimas, PhD, joins the Western States Node on March 1, 2013, as a NIDA CTN INVEST Fellow. NIDA is the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and INVEST is International Visiting Scientists & Technical Exchange Program for drug abuse research. Oregon Health & Sciences University hosts Dr. Klimas’ six months fellowship during which he will assess the use of Screening and Brief Intervention (SBIRT) for alcohol use disorders among patients receiving agonist medication for opioid use disorders.
Professor Dennis McCarty, Co-PI for the Western States Node, will supervise Dr. Klimas during his fellowship. The research examines addiction treatment in primary and specialty care settings with respect to implementation of screening and treatment for unhealthy alcohol use among opioid-dependent patients in methadone or buprenorphine agonist treatment in Ireland and Oregon. Dr. Klimas’ prior work in Ireland informs the U.S. investigation… Read more in the NIDA CTN bulletin, issue November 15th, 2012: (http://ctndisseminationlibrary.org/bulletin/20121115.pdf)
Among the Top 5 conferences in the Addiction field worldwide, the SSA symposium (http://www.addiction-ssa.org/) came to pass last week in York (UK). For obvious reasons, the conference organisers are loyal to the same venue for a number of years. Not only it is a spectacular historical town, but it’s accessible from most of the UK research centres of excellence by a couple of hours drive.
Our group brought to the conference a set of related presentations honouring the results of our hard work in the past years. They were all linked by a genuine need to come up with realistic solutions to drinking among methadone users (or other problem drug users):
Problem alcohol use among DUs in primary care: evidence, barriers, research agenda
The following are titles of three related papers presented together at the conference:
- Problem alcohol use among problem drug users: Development of clinical guidelines for general practice
- The management of problem alcohol use among drug users in primary care: Exploring patients’ experience of screening and treatment
- Psychosocial interventions to reduce alcohol consumption in concurrent problem alcohol and illicit drug users: Cochrane review
To our greatest surprise, we found ourselves amidst a long thought-provoking discussion with the interested audience following our presentations. This had to be cut off by a chair who was mindful of a long line-up of subsequent talks. I hope this wasn’t only a mere reflection of a hight need or interest in the proffesional community but also an acknowledgement of our expertise in conducting and presentig this research programme.
Following this positive reception of our research we resolved to focus more on quality, than quantity for our research endeavours in 2013; so that we can make for better candidates for the next year’s poster prizes and/or for publishers of the top drugs journal – The Addiction.
Visiting this event for the first time 2 years ago, I couldn’t pass without notice a heavy focus on medical aspects of addiction, e.g. medicines and treatment. That changed. This year, there were many presentations from the community/ practitioner crowd on topics unheard of at this meeting before (e.g. John Roche’s New drugs, new problems? Responding to club drugs in Leeds or Duncan Raistrick’s Payment by Results) – all attended by a number of attendees. The same – non-medicinalising – trend apperead in the conference tweets:
My second observation is about the symposium audience. Many new (young) faces appeared among the seasoned veterans of this conference. This influenced conference’s social programme too, as the conferring crowd quickly dispersed into their rooms following some modest dinner celebrations. Is the crushing hand of recession strengthening its grip and forcing addiction experts to work more – celebrate less? Or are we witnessing a cultural shift in the UK’s most established addiction meeting?