This type of data is what we normally elicit when we have a PICO question.  It involves measurement of objects, environment, human clinical parameters, surveys, etc.   There may or may not be an intervention with a therapy, a test, a natural event, and it may be controlled or not, blinded or not.  The study population size is determined in advance in order to achieve statistical significance. Some examples include:

  • Cross-sectional study – this is a “snap shot” analysis of opinion or experience.  It can be repeated after an intervention to make comparisons.  (Eg: patient satisfaction with care). Typically, a survey tool is administered to participants.
  • Cohort* – this is where you follow participants over time. This is not a controlled trial. (Eg.  Determine whether a specific diet can reduce the risk of diabetes.)
  • Trial* – this is where you trial a therapy with a control group for comparison, preferably blinded.  (Eg RCT to determine if a new wart treatment is better than placebo)


Method and Written Report Guidelines

(based on instructions for authors, Canadian Family Physician journal, July 12, 2011)

Quantitative Research

Manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” available on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) website.

Quantitative research articles should not exceed 2000 words, excluding abstract, tables and references.

Data request/Resident Access Residents may request access to Family Practice resident data or request access to fellow family practice residents (e.g. distribute surveys, conduct interviews) for their resident scholar project.

 Please review the guidelines under ‘Data request/Resident Access’ and submit completed Data request/Resident access application form to Data Concierge Committee. For all other inquiries related to Data request/Resident access please contact the Data Concierge Committee at:  fmprpostgrad.research@familymed.ubc.ca


Abstracts: Include headings Objective, Design, Setting, Participants, Interventions, Main outcome measures, Results, and Conclusion and should not exceed 175 words. Up to four key words (MeSH headings) must be included.

Introduction: Indicate the current state of knowledge, give the context of the study, and be supported by key references. Clearly state study objective at the end of the introduction, including what is new or important about this study.

Method: Include the design, setting, sample frame, selection of participants (inclusion and exclusion criteria), intervention, and outcome measurement instruments’ validity and reliability. Describe statistical testing proposed and sample size calculation. Design should be appropriate to the question.

Results: Clearly present results in text and tables without overlap. Note the response rate, if appropriate. A figure showing the sampling strategy is useful. Relate results to the research question. Confidence intervals should be used whenever possible. Statistics given should be appropriate to study design and numbers. Results section should not include commentary.

Discussion:  Cover what new information has been found. Describe clinical and statistical significance, how results compare with the literature, possible explanations for results, and future directions for research. Limitations and how they might have affected the results should be discussed. Speculation must be reasonable.

Conclusion: Summarize the main findings of the study, relate back to the study’s objective(s), and support with data found in the study.

References: Must be current and complete. Check references for accuracy, completeness, and proper format (according to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals; http://www.icmje.org/). References should be numbered in the order they appear in the text and should be limited to works cited in the article. List all authors when there are 6 or fewer; when there are 7 or more, list the first 6, followed by et al.

Key points: Include a short, point-form “key points” section including 1 to 4 points in 50 to 100 words.  Key points do not duplicate the abstract or summarize the article; they highlight what is new, different, unexpected or surprising in the article.

Tables and figures: Attach separately from the main manuscript. Tables and figures clarify and supplement, but not duplicate, the text. Tables must be self-explanatory and concise. Prepare each table or figure on a separate page. Give titles to tables and captions to figures and other illustrations. Ensure that all tables, figures, and illustrations are cited at appropriate places in the text. Prepare tables in Word; not spreadsheets. Use table structure, not spaces and tabs to format tables.

Images and any other visual material: Attach as separate electronic files (do not paste them into the manuscript). These may include photographs, digital illustrations or extra photographs for use if space is available. Images should be sent in a JPG file format.

Authorship: Include a description in written report of what each resident/author contributed to their Resident Scholar Project. In addition, if several residents are involved in one Resident Scholar Project, include a statement to describe the processes they underwent to decide the order of the authors on the Resident Scholar Project written report.

Acknowledgements: Name everyone (e.g. faculty, professionals, research assistants) who contributed to the work of the Resident Scholar Project who are not authors in the Acknowledgements section, describing what they did. Also, describe all financial support of the Resident Project in the acknowledgements.


Guidelines for Authorship and Acknowledgements

Follow the latest authorship definition provided by the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals listed below from the ICMJE website as follows:

“All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. One or more authors should take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, from inception to published article. Authorship credit should be based only on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions 1, 2, and 3 must all be met. Acquisition of funding, the collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, by themselves, do not justify authorship.”

In addition, refer to the Department of Family Practice Authorship and Collaboration  approved by the Post-Graduate Education Committee in 2003. This policy guides the order of authors for faculty and residents who work together on a Resident Scholar Project.