April 26, 2012

My Researcher Profile

Name: Tim Glass

Department: Warwick Medical School

Project Department: Emergency care and rehabilitation research group: Warwick Clinical Trial Unit

Supervisor: Professor Martin Underwood

Why does your URSS project interest you?

 I worked at the Wolfson laboratories at CTSU (Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit) University of Oxford for 18 months immediately prior to starting Fast-track Medicine at the University of Warwick and so witnessed clinical trials from the inside. This URSS project is a fantastic opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of evidence-based medicine as it applies to the use of complementary therapies in the treatment of lower back pain. Pain is an area of great interest to me as there is still so much we do not understand.

What are you hoping to achieve through your URSS project?

I want to be a clinical scientist with expertise in design and conduct of randomised controlled trials. To achieve this I need to demonstrate that I can publish original work in this area. The Fast-track Medicine course at Warwick is intense with little timetabled time available for scientific enquiry, so I am keen to use personal time to experience the process of producing a published literature review. Academic medicine is highly competitive and I am determined to gain as much experience as possible to help get the job of my choosing in the future.

What new skills are you hoping to develop?

I would like to develop my research and presentation skills and gain a deeper knowledge of conducting literature reviews in relation to the development of complex interventions to be used in randomised controlled trials. This work is required to develop a proposal for a feasibility study into acupuncture effectiveness, something I would be very excited to be a part of. The scholarship will provide the support necessary to tackle this challenge and offer help and advice, should I need it. In addition, it will enable me to further develop my communication skills through sharing my experience with current/future URSS students.

What contribution to knowledge could your URSS project make?

 There is good evidence that adding acupuncture to usual care for back pain is effective. The evidence for a specific effect of acupuncture needling when compared to a sham procedure is, however, very weak. Currently there is not a robust theoretical model for how acupuncture treatments might work that integrates the specific biological processes, the patient/practitioner interaction, context factors and patient characteristics. Such a model has potential to form the basis of future research and policy on complementary medical treatments. This URSS project will develop the model and identify the existing evidence to support the role of each component.


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  1. Hi Tim,

    First, apologies for the delay in responding to your post. I think you have set out very clearly what you are looking at, why and what you hope to achieve from the project. Good luck with your work and I look forward to hearing more about it! Best wishes, Stephen

    22 Jun 2012, 11:45

  2. Update:

    As a sideline piece of work, related to my URSS project, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to be first author of a commentary in Acupuncture in Medicine, published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The article was accepted for publication last Wednesday and will be in the next issue of Acupuncture in Medicine…

    23 Jul 2012, 23:41

  3. Hi Tim,

    thanks for the update.

    Great news on getting published, well done. This is just the sort of update that the blog is useful for.

    Would you be able to post a link to the piece when it is available?

    I hope the project is going well and that you are enjoying the work

    Best wishes

    Stephen

    24 Jul 2012, 17:46

  4. Thanks Stephen, I don’t think Warwick students have access to Acupuncture in Medicine (I’m not sure why, as it’s a BMJ publication) but if it’s possible to include a link here, I will!

    Best wishes,

    Tim

    22 Aug 2012, 23:52

  5. Here is the link to the commentary in Acupuncture in Medicine, by the BMJ, titled ‘Group acupuncture for osteoarthritis; a practical option?’:

    http://aim.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/acupmed-2012-010218

    08 Sep 2012, 18:07

  6. Update: Odense International Forum XII, Odense, Denmark: Primary care research on back pain

    In April, I submitted a workshop proposal to discuss my paper ‘How does acupuncture work for back pain?’ at the back pain forum in Odense, Denmark, which I was very pleased to have been accepted. Unfortunately, there would have only been a small number of attendees at the workshop and so the forum organisers kindly offered me a poster presentation instead. Follow the link to the forum website below…

    http://lbpforum.org/

    04 Nov 2012, 18:28

  7. The forum was from 16th to 19th October and was very enjoyable! Including a gala dinner at Holckenhavn Castle (http://lbpforum.org/index.php?page=galla-dinner), it proved to be an excellent oportunity to network, enabling me to meet researchers from around the world, including several researchers from the George Institute in Australia, who I have now agreed to colaborate on a research paper with looking at triggers for back pain. I will be going to Sydney Australia, with them in March/April 2013 during my medical elective to work with them on the paper, having already begun data analysis with them. A very pleasing result for me!

    04 Nov 2012, 18:34

  8. Please find attached a link to more information about the George Institute…

    http://www.georgeinstitute.org/

    04 Nov 2012, 18:35


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