In 2013, a group of medical students from Universidade Federal de São Paulo conceived the first Brazilian Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) League to provide a setting for long-term EBM discussion and training. The group has several collaborators who encourage them to keep pursuing their main goal: to learn and spread the EBM culture to other colleagues. A key element of the League is the analysis of the most important EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) guidelines, which is an international leadership to enhance the authenticity and value of medical research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of research studies.
To describe an experience of EQUATOR guidelines dissemination among medical students.
A journalist who attended the EQUATOR Network Course and EBM professors periodically provide lectures and assignments to the League participants regarding the reporting guidelines topic. The most important statements, CONSORT (CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials), STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology), PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses), CARE (CAse REporting), and AGREE (Appraisal of Guidelines for REsearch and Evaluation), are extensively discussed with the students.
The students learned how to apply the reporting guidelines and how to prepare scientific articles for publishing case reports, observational studies and systematic reviews. The long-term application of the knowledge is seen greatly among former League students, who are practicing theoretical concepts acquired by the elaboration of articles to disseminate studies produced locally.
During the process of learning and applying those statements in detail, medical students learn how to report scientific information properly and to apply the knowledge to their own articles.
Well-grounded knowledge in the clinical practice is essential for the adequate guidance of patients, specially with the ever-mounting available literature. Aiming to arm students with tools to write articles and to analyze them critically, the League works towards guaranteeing that patients will be offered the best care by helping students understand and employ the guidelines in their day-to-day activities.