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Rebecca Smith and Georgina Miles presented the preliminary research findings of their systematic review on the representativeness of UK trials on lifestyle interventions for diabetes mellitus at the British Geriatrics Society 2023 Autumn Meeting on 24 November in Birmingham.

Rebecca and Georgina conducted this work during the EBM Special Study Theme (SST) on systematic reviews led by Dr Georgia Richards and members of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine for the undergraduate medical school. They said, “We were excited to present the results of our Evidence-Based Medicine SST project at the recent British Geriatrics Society Autumn Meeting!”.

“Our systematic review aimed to examine participants' demographics in UK-based clinical trials of lifestyle interventions for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, to assess how closely participants represented the diseased population. After a comprehensive introduction to critical appraisal in the fourth-year EBM SST program, we were motivated to design a project that explored the methodology of clinical research. Our shared interest in health inequities led us to choose to focus on representation within clinical trial populations. A previous review had highlighted extensive underreporting of patient characteristics in trials of diabetes prevention, so we decided to explore whether similar discrepancies were present in trials looking at the management of diabetes. Our initial data analysis showed that elderly and comorbid patients were very poorly represented in these trials.

We were selected to present our findings at the BGS Autumn Meeting as a platform presentation. Preparing for the presentation with Dr Georgia Richards helped us gain perspective on our project, consider its limitations and gain confidence in presenting our work. Alongside our presentation, we were fortunate to hear from experts in the care of the elderly on similar themes of healthcare inequity; from the modifiable risk factors for mental illness in geriatric populations to the value of healthcare humanities in supporting discussions about improving care.

We’re grateful to the CEBM for their support throughout the review process, from helping with our protocol registration to providing feedback on our presentation before the conference. We were delighted that our efforts resulted in the award of the Elizabeth Brown Prize for the best scientific platform presentation at the British Geriatrics Society Autumn Meeting and are looking forward to working with the CEBM to publish this research in the future.”

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