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UrogynCREST Program Coursework

Year 1: Coursework:

Participants use the Sakai online learning platform to access their coursework. Courses are taught by experts in study design (Module 1, with 6 sessions); economic, psychometric, and decision-analytic studies (Module 2, with 3 sessions), and statistical techniques applicable in health services research with a focus on working with R (Module 3, which covers descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, multivariable inferential statistics, propensity score matching, and instrumental variables. Course content consists of reading material, didactic videos by the faculty, faculty-participants group discussions, and assignments with feedback from faculty. Each session lasts 2 weeks, with 1 week to prepare assignments. There is a 2-week break between modules. Module 4 consists of the Stanford Statistical Learning course, and participants receive a certificate at successful completion.

Year 2: Support from Mentors and Biostatisticians: Participants are matched with clinical mentors who have expertise in database research. Mentors work with participants to design and execute a research proposal in pelvic floor disorders. Ongoing interaction ensures that projects adhere to the highest standards of scientific validity and remain on track. Biostatisticians provide expert consultation and analytics support to help participants achieve their research objectives. At the completion of the 2nd year, participants must have submitted their project-based manuscript to a peer reviewed journal.

Cohort 2 proposed projects:

  • Assessing the role of the pelvic floor as a contributor to voiding dysfunction in adult women with storage LUTS
  • Postoperative Safety of Same-Day Discharge in Minimally Invasive Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgery: A Nationwide Study in Elderly Women
  • Utilization of 3rd line therapies in OAB Medicare Beneficiaries
  • Is urinary incontinence a predictor of incident dementia in women age 65 and older? A longitudinal study of Medicare beneficiaries
  • Pelvic organ prolapse management in women over 65: trends and timing in the transition from pessary to surgical management
  • Postoperative Complications in Patients undergoing Combined Rectal Prolapse and Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgery versus Rectal Prolapse Surgery Only

Access to Data: Participants access the most common and extensive national healthcare database of standard analytic claims files. The dataset can support a broad range of pelvic floor disorder research questions. It does not contain direct identifiers or prescription information. Data are accessed in Duke’s highly secure data analytics environment (PACE). Access to other publicly available datasets or working with datasets already obtained by participants is also possible. For more information about allowable datasets, please contact Cindy Amundsen (Program Director) or Rebecca Kameny (Program Coordinator).

Dissemination and Networking: Participants present their research to peers, at the biannual Advisory Committee meetings, as well as at scientific conferences such as AUGS. By the end of the program, they are expected to have at least one accepted or submitted manuscript of UrogynCREST-related research. Annual reports are submitted to the NIH detailing participants’ progress. Networking among participants is encouraged throughout the program, and participants build connections that facilitate multi-center studies and collaboration on further manuscripts, research projects, and grant applications. Cohorts 1 and 2 have successfully collaborated on presentations and manuscripts.