Guiding the Grey: The Implementation and Evaluation of a Journal Club amongst a Librarian and Clinical Practice Guideline Developers - a Cancer Care Case Study

Introduction/Goal: As a research-intensive facility located within a cancer care environment, library services provided at the Holy Cross Site closely adhere to an embedded librarian mandate, one where the librarian “actively engages in activities, possesses extensive knowledge of the researcher’s work, and offers assistance above and beyond common library service expectations” (Strain, 2011). The Guideline Utilization Resource Unit (GURU) is composed of knowledge management specialists (KMS) and nurse facilitators (NF) who support multidisciplinary teams in developing, implementing, and evaluating provincial clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for the diagnosis, staging, treatment and follow-up of cancer. These CPGs are evidence-based documents with consensus recommendations; they are freely available on a public website for access by practitioners and patients, and are a form of grey literature. Team members at GURU consult regularly with the librarian to ensure that the most accurate and comprehensive search strategy is used to develop CPGs. The goal of this paper is to describe the process of organizing and evaluating a journal club involving a unique collaboration between guideline developers and a librarian. Procedure: The journal club is comprised of three KMSs, two NFs, the GURU Manager and an embedded librarian. The group has been meeting once per month since April 2012. Each member takes turns selecting two articles related to CPG development or implementation, and is responsible for leading an informal discussion. To evaluate the usefulness of the journal club and the impact of grey literature on CPG development in Alberta, all members of the journal club (n=7) were interviewed in a focus group setting or a semi-structured interview. Transcripts of audio-recorded interviews will be qualitatively analyzed for repeated themes related to knowledge gained from, and perceived benefits of journal club meetings. Results: First, we hypothesize that monthly participation in the journal club will increase members’ knowledge of development, evaluation, and implementation of guidelines. Second, we believe that participants will have acquired a better understanding of the research process and how to critique current guideline research. Finally, we expect that members will report that the journal club provided the opportunity to facilitate discussions around topics that are less familiar to them. It is anticipated that this collaborative venture will further enhance the importance of grey literature and its usefulness for cancer care clinical practice guidelines.
journal club, clinical practice guidelines, evaluation
Vaska M., Kostaras X., MacLeod E., Meek E., Shea-Budgell M., Watson L. (2014). Guiding the Grey: The Implementation and Evaluation of a Journal Club Amongst a Librarian and Clinical Practice Guideline Developers: A Cancer Care Case Study. GL15: Fifteenth International Conference on Grey Literature (Bratislava, Slovakia, December 2-3, 2013): Conference Proceedings