Addressing the Gap in Research Methodologies Education in Pediatric Oncology in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Raya Saab, Victor Santana, Anas Obeid, Meenakshi Devidas, Asim Belgaumi, Nickhill Bhakta, Paula Naidu, Vaskar Saha, Iyad Sultan, Ramandeep Singh Arora, Lilly Mukoka, Sima Jeha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Formal training in clinical research methodologies is limited in limited-resource countries. Through collaboration among high- and middle-resource settings and in response to an identified need verbalized by regional pediatric oncology practitioners, Pediatric Oncology East & Mediterranean Group and St Jude Global developed a workshop focused on capacity building in research skills. Here, we describe its structure, implementation, and early results. METHODS: Leveraging virtual capabilities, the format included lectures and small group breakout exercise sessions, for 3 hours per day on 2 consecutive days per week for 2 consecutive weeks. Topics included basics of study design, introduction to health care statistics, research ethics, data registries, and scientific writing. Applicants were required to submit an abstract for a potential research project. Each breakout group selected one abstract for further development and presented the final version in a groupwide session. The participants' experience was evaluated through an online survey. RESULTS: Attendance included 29 registrants from 12 countries and six disciplines. Each breakout group was assigned a themed category: cohort studies, clinical trials, or registries. Critical feedback from the breakout sessions helped strengthen the selected projects, which included a retrospective study, a prospective observational study, a prospective interventional study, and a registry proposal. After the workshop, participants were invited to further develop their original abstracts, and three proposals received additional mentoring, one of which was a multi-institutional prospective study that was subsequently submitted through the Pediatric Oncology East & Mediterranean Group network for implementation. The postworkshop survey revealed an overall highly positive experience, and feedback provided potential themes for future workshops. CONCLUSION: This workshop demonstrated the potential for collaborative network partnerships in targeting research training gaps in pediatric oncology. Lessons learned will be applied to future workshops to strengthen research in limited-resource settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2200295
JournalJCO Global Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


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