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This article provides information concerning a novel research subject recruitment registry developed at Vanderbilt University. Project goals were (1) to provide a mechanism for lay individuals to self-enter information conveying interest in volunteering for clinical research and (2) provide tools for researchers to select and contact potential volunteers based on study-specific inclusion criteria. The registry was built and offered as an institutional resource to all university scientists conducting institutional review board-approved research. The authors present (1) a model for redesigning workflow associated with subject registration, volunteer retrieval, and subject contact; (2) details of a Web-based software application used as a focal point in designing workflow for our system; (3) descriptive statistics for volunteer and researcher use of the system during the first 32 months of operation; (4) cost estimates for the project; and (5) a set of recommendations for other medical centers wishing to adopt similar methodology.
Gene expression microarrays have become a mainstream technology that can provide valuable insight into psychiatric disorders. Gene expression studies in post mortem brain samples of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have the potential to yield novel clues about the pathophysiology of these complex trait disorders. In the present review, a short introduction of the genetic and molecular background of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is followed by a discussion of the basic concept and limits of gene expression microarray technology, and the complexities surrounding the analysis of thousands of gene transcripts. Although this review is intended for use in most platforms, it has a particular focus on the commercially available Affymetrix system. Various computer programs and their principal features are discussed, and it is shown how these programs can be applied to reveal a biological context of microarray findings. I will demonstrate how the programs can help to judge the results rather than focus on their statistical principles. The strength of gene array experiments is their emphasis on broad, biological themes, rather than on specific genes, and proper biostatistical approaches are important to ensure reproducibility of the findings. All results should be verified by independent means. This review is intended to help brain researchers who want to apply gene expression microarray technology to conceptualize research strategies and sample analysis.
BACKGROUND - Quantitative studies are becoming more recognized as important to understanding health care with all of its richness and complexities. The purpose of this descriptive survey was to provide a quantitative evaluation of the qualitative studies published in 170 core clinical journals for 2000.
METHODS - All identified studies that used qualitative methods were reviewed to ascertain which clinical journals publish qualitative studies and to extract research methods, content (persons and health care issues studied), and whether mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative methods) were used.
RESULTS - 60 330 articles were reviewed. 355 reports of original qualitative studies and 12 systematic review articles were identified in 48 journals. Most of the journals were in the discipline of nursing. Only 4 of the most highly cited health care journals, based on ISI Science Citation Index (SCI) Impact Factors, published qualitative studies. 37 of the 355 original reports used both qualitative and quantitative (mixed) methods. Patients and non-health care settings were the most common groups of people studied. Diseases and conditions were cancer, mental health, pregnancy and childbirth, and cerebrovascular disease with many other diseases and conditions represented. Phenomenology and grounded theory were commonly used; substantial ethnography was also present. No substantial differences were noted for content or methods when articles published in all disciplines were compared with articles published in nursing titles or when studies with mixed methods were compared with studies that included only qualitative methods.
CONCLUSIONS - The clinical literature includes many qualitative studies although they are often published in nursing journals or journals with low SCI Impact Factor journals. Many qualitative studies incorporate both qualitative and quantitative methods.