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Surgery. 2014 Mar;155(3):541-4. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2013.10.018. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

Systematically Tabulated Outcomes Research Matrix (STORM): a methodology to generate research hypotheses.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. Electronic address: jcrompton@mednet.ucla.edu.
  • 2Department of Surgery, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC.
  • 3Center for Surgical Trials and Outcomes Research, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation [GTPCI] at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.
  • 4Center for Surgical Trials and Outcomes Research, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Here we describe the Systematically Tabulated Outcomes Research Matrix (STORM) method to generate research questions from pre-existing databases with the aim of improving patient outcomes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

STORM can be applied to a database by tabulating its variables into a matrix of independent variables (y-axis) and dependent variables (x-axis) and then applying each unique pairing of an independent and dependent variable to a patient population to generate potentially meaningful research questions.

RESULTS:

To demonstrate this methodology and establish proof-of-principle, STORM was applied on a small scale to the National Trauma Data Bank and generated at least seven clinically meaningful research questions.

CONCLUSION:

When coupled with rigorous clinical judgment, the STORM approach complements the traditional method of hypothesis formation and can be generalized to outcomes research using registry databases across different medical specialties.

Copyright © 2014 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
24439742
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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