Table 2

Clinical Journal club material

Material typeExamplesComment
Original clinical researchMeta-analyses, systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials, observational studiesArticles higher on "Evidence Pyramid", from high impact journals and recent (eg, <1 year) have higher likelihood of changing practice.
Promote understanding of evidence hierarchy and critical appraisal curriculum.
Discuss ‘lower impact’ similar study designs to compare.*
Case reports/series, N-of-1 trials, qualitative researchMay also demonstrate important, new or emerging clinically useful concepts (despite ‘lower’ position on "Evidence Pyramid").
Basic or translational scientific researchArticles with upcoming potential to influence clinical careKeep clinician informed of scientific advances.
May be more relevant in academic/research active departments.
For example, "Testable antiarrhythmic therapy for long-QT syndrome…using a patient-specific cellular model. Eur Heart J 2018;39(16)".
Topic updates or overview of relevant clinical concept
(combine with evidence appraisal)
Evidence-based guidelines (peer reviewed)Overview of predefined clinical condition; could provide consensus recommendations.
Benefit all members of JC/other MDT members.
Narrative reviews (peer reviewed)A state of the art review may identify gaps in literature, ideas (opinion-based guidance) for practice and research.
Conference summaryAttendees of a conference present overview of ‘what’s new’/emerging, hot topics; generating discussion for practice and research.
Online ‘informal’ materialForums, blogs, social media platforms, websitesCompare practices or research design.
Raise awareness or discuss controversy for example, evidence base or lack of, for certain practices.
  • Decide on focus of your JC. What material will suit learners? Consider other material periodically. Consider involving interdisciplinary professionals.

  • *Consider a curriculum-based approach, as well as discussion of less well-designed studies, in order to highlight common possible pitfalls when interpreting data or conducting different types of research studies.

  • JC, journal club; MDT, multidisciplinary team members.