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Improve Your Ability to Assess Evidence With ASCO eLearning Biostatistics Course Collection

Mar 10, 2020

The practice of evidence-based medicine requires the ability to effectively evaluate the body of evidence, including clinical research statistics and methods. Insufficient knowledge can lead to challenges in understanding practice-changing developments presented in literature and critical errors in communication and decision-making with patients. 
ASCO eLearning’s Biostatistics course collection will be beneficial to oncology professionals who recognize the importance of biostatistics but lack confidence in their grasp of the formal concepts.
Shared decision-making, an important goal of patient-centered practice, requires that providers communicate clearly with their patients; oncology professionals need to be able to inform patients about the magnitude of the harms, risks, and potential benefits of interventions under consideration. Without a clear understanding of the medical evidence, clinicians cannot provide appropriate counsel to their patients. 
Studies show that the framing of statistics in clinical research can lead providers with limited knowledge and appraisal skills to overestimate the efficacy and underestimate the harms of an intervention. This can make these clinicians more likely to recommend an intervention with limited benefit to patients, compromising care. 
A critical challenge for health care providers is that the body of medical evidence in oncology and other fields is only increasing. 2019 Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium Program Committee chair-elect Eric Roeland, MD, explained, “The way we currently learn in medicine is inherently flawed. We drink from a firehose of information and are expected to apply drops of this information.”  
The ASCO eLearning Biostatistics course collection will help learners build a solid foundation to critically assess the expanding volume of new information in the field.
Each topic will be presented as a separate course within the overall collection. This modular approach enables participants to claim continuing education credit after the completion of selected modules. It also enables personalization by allowing participants to select the modules of interest and skip others. 
Course options include:   
• Introduction to Biostatistics in Oncology Research 
• Use and Interpretation of Common Data Plots 
• Statistics for Hypothesis Testing 
• Statistical Assessment of Risk 
• Statistical Approach to Endpoints and Missing Data 
• Statistics for Randomized Clinical Trials 
• Statistics for Retrospective Analyses 
• Statistics for Biomarker Studies 
• Statistics for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 
• Statistics for Screening and Prevention Studies 
ASCO eLearning Editorial Board associate editor Jennifer E. Schwartz, MD, FRCPC, said, “Designed for the spectrum of individuals, from fellows to senior faculty, advanced practice providers, and professionals, this course collection is highly interactive and relevant, incorporating many practical examples. Knowing that team members may have differing needs, each course in this collection can be taken independently for continuing education credit. After completing the courses, participants will be positioned to better interpret research publications and to incorporate biostatistical concepts into clinical trial planning.”
Visit ASCO eLearning for additional information about the Biostatistics course collection. 

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