Research Methods

Implementing and evaluating the appropriate research methods is essential to developing solutions to complex health challenges.

Free Associations Podcast | October 9th, 2018

The sleep episode: melatonin for a sleep disorder

Matt, Chris, and Don look at whether melatonin can help people with a sleep disorder, the gang discusses nutritional epidemiology, and Chris learns the dangers of ignoring Matt’s emails.

Free Associations Podcast | August 14th, 2018

Should we pay people to quit smoking? (Guest host!)

Matt, Chris, and Jennifer Rider (our first ever guest host) discuss a pragmatic trial of smoking cessation, examine the pros and cons of surrogate endpoints, and Chris schools us all on horse dentistry.

Free Associations Podcast | June 5th, 2018

A breakthrough for lung cancer treatment?

Matt, Chris, and Don discuss a new treatment for lung cancer (immunotherapy), the gang discusses a large clinical trial that controversially changed its endpoint, and Chris dives into the world of linguistics (again).

Free Associations Podcast | May 22nd, 2018

An antidepressants do-over

Matt, Chris, and Don look at a drug company antidepressant trial in adolescents that was re-analyzed by different authors who came to different conclusions, the gang discusses the pre-registration movement in psychology, and Matt finds out what happens to all those unreported clinical trials.

Free Associations Podcast | May 8th, 2018

People who live in glass houses...

Matt, Chris, and Don finally take on one of their own studies and see how it holds up, the gang discusses what to do when your study has flaws, and Chris tells us what happens if you don’t get funding as a junior faculty member.

Free Associations Podcast | April 24th, 2018

The opioids vs non-opioids showdown!

Matt, Chris, and Don tackle a study on the effectiveness of opioids vs non-opioids for chronic pain, the gang discusses new NIH rules on how a clinical trial is defined, and Matt reads us some academic love poems.

Free Associations Podcast | April 10th, 2018

Antidepressants — our first in-studio guests!

Matt, Chris, and Don are joined by two faculty from the BUSPH Biostats Department to discuss a massive meta-analysis on the effectiveness of antidepressants, then we talk about the pros and cons of meta-analysis, and Don gives us some driving advice.

Free Associations Podcast | January 30th, 2018

Why is HIV incidence dropping in Uganda?

Matt, Chris, and Don weigh in on an area they finally have some expertise in (HIV) by reviewing a study of HIV prevention in Uganda, examine the difference between “efficacy” and “effectiveness,” and Matt gets dangerously close to a word we’re not allowed to say. 

Practically Speaking | January 26th, 2018

Evaluating Research Claims

Whether it’s for your job or just of interest, it’s important to be able to critically assess an epidemiologic research paper.

Free Associations Podcast | September 26th, 2017

Is this the paper that launched a thousand anti-vaxxers?

Matt, Chris, and Don discuss the paper that set off the MMR and autism controversy, dive deep into the peer review system, and Chris and Don leave Matt scratching more than his head with their Amazing and Amusing contributions.

Free Associations Podcast | September 12th, 2017

Can chocolate make the heart grow healthier?

Matt, Chris, and Don review a new study suggesting chocolate may reduce your risk for atrial fibrillation, discuss the difference between observational studies and randomized controlled trials and ask whether Usain Bolt is fast enough to cause a Doppler shift.

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