Published ENT surgical innovations fall drastically

September 25, 2008

The number of cases of surgical innovation published in otolaryngic medical journals has fallen drastically since the late 1980s, leading researchers to question the impact of government oversight over surgery, according to research presented during the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in Chicago, IL.

Researchers from the Weill Cornell Medical College studied and compared abstracts from prominent otolaryngic medical journals from 1988 and 2006, and found that the proportion of articles representing either innovation or modification of surgical procedures was significantly lower in recent studies (18.3 percent of 367 studies from 1988, versus just 10.6 percent of 548 studies in 2006). The authors also determined that after eliminating radiology and pathology quiz cases, as well as animal model research, only four of the more recent cases could be actually classified as innovation.

The authors contend that increased barriers in obtaining research approval may have played a role in this decline; other possible explanations include an increase in the amount of basic research being undertaken.

The authors believe that because of the important role surgical innovation has played in healthcare progress, additional studies in the impact of increased regulation on surgical procedures is warranted.

Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology

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