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P243 Developing a protocol to conduct a student-driven study across Europe: EuroSurg-1 study

G. Pellino on behalf of EuroSurg Collaborative*

Second University of Naples, Unit of Colorectal Surgery, Naples, Italy

Background

Student-driven collaboratives have recently come to the forefront of research, aiming to engage students in high-quality research studies, enthusing and equipping them with the skills to become research active surgeons in the future. The Student Audit and Research in Surgery (STARSurg) group has successfully run 3 national cohort studies, with over 1 000 students across 160 hospitals in the UK taking part in their most recent study, collecting data on 10 000 patients undergoing major surgery.1 Our aim is to run a pilot, observational study in early 2016 across Europe, hoping to act as a catalyst to develop a pan-European student research network.

Methods

A meeting of medical students interested in developing a pan-European research network was convened in Dublin in September 2015. Supported by STARSurg and experienced surgeons the students discussed and agreed their strategy for their newly founded network, EuroSurg. They resolved to run a study (EuroSurg-1) to investigate the relationship between body mass index and postoperative complications following major gastrointestinal surgery. Enhanced data will be collected from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. This will help determine the feasibility of a future student-driven dedicated IBD study. EuroSurg-1 is being disseminated through established national colorectal associations, medical school networks and on social media (https://twitter.com/eurosurg). Using a collaborative authorship model, all collaborating students in EuroSurg will be acknowledged as PubMed citable co-authors on all resulting publications

Results

An international management group has been developed to run EuroSurg. Its membership includes students and trainees representing Ireland, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and The Netherlands, and has rapidly expanded. By early December 2015, over 350 students had registered to take part in EuroSurg, with students active at 65 universities that had never previously participated in student-driven collaborative studies. Having developed and refined the study protocol for EuroSurg entirely through e-mail-based communication and teleconferencing, the protocol was released online in early December 2015.

Conclusion

The rapid expansion of the EuroSurg network demonstrates the desire by medical students and surgical trainees to participate actively in high-quality clinical surgical research. This is the first ever pan-European student-driven study. It is expected to enrol over 2 000 patients during 10 weeks of data collection in early 2016. Everyone is most welcome to participate; you can sign up to participate online (www.eurosurg.org).

We thank ESCP and SICCR for their support.

References

[1] STARSurg Collaborative. Impact of postoperative non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on adverse events after gastrointestinal surgery. Br J Surg 2014;101(11):1413–23.