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The APSA Outcomes and Evidence-based Practice Committee aims to facilitate the efforts of APSA members, either individually or as an organization, and to develop clinical outcomes data and evidence-based recommendations relevant to the practice of pediatric surgery. Their mission is to support the Outcomes and Evidence-based Practice activities of the membership and to be a forum to promote collaboration and provide national leadership on these issues for the practicing pediatric surgeon.

What you’ll find on this page:


What is Outcomes Research?
  • Outcomes Research
    Outcomes research seeks to understand the end results of particular health care practices and interventions. For clinicians and patients, outcomes research provides evidence about benefits, risks, and results of treatments so they can make more informed decisions1. Outcomes research is aimed at assessing the quality and effectiveness of health care as measured by the attainment of a specified end result or outcome, improved health, lowered morbidity or mortality, and improvement of abnormal states2. Classically, the key feature of outcomes research was the emphasis on effectiveness (the effect of an intervention as applied to broad populations in real practice). The umbrella term “outcomes research” now loosely covers a broad range of study questions (quality of care, access, decision making, prediction rules, and effectiveness), methods (analysis of administrative databases and decision analysis), and end points (health-related quality of life and costs)3.
  • Health Services Research
    The terms “outcomes research” and “health services research” are increasingly synonymous. Those who make a distinction between these terms regard outcomes research as measuring and addressing clinical issues and health services research as responding to policy questions3. Outcomes and health services research seek to identify the most effective and most efficient interventions, treatments, and services4. Health services research is usually concerned with relationships between need, demand, supply, use, and outcome of health services2.
  • Clinical Trial
    The NIH defines a clinical trial as a prospective biomedical or behavioral research study of human subjects that is designed to answer specific questions about biomedical or behavioral interventions (such as drugs, treatments, devices, or new ways of using known drugs, treatments, or devices)5. The key feature of a clinical trial is to measure the effect of the intervention under controlled circumstances.


  3. Lee SJ, Earle CC, Weeks JC. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000;92:195-204
  4. Cook DJ, Mulrow CD, Haynes RB. Ann Int Med 1997;126:376-380
Systematic Reviews

Evidence-based Medicine in Pediatric Surgery

The 97th Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons held in San Francisco, CA in October, 2011 included a session entitled, “Evidence-Based Medicine in Pediatric Surgery: Don’t Confuse Me with Facts, My Mind is Made Up.”  The session was moderated by Marjorie Arca and Daniel Ostlie. View the four PowerPoint sessions below, which are made available through the APSA Website at the request of the membership. (The slides are the property of R. Moss, S. St. Peter, F. Abdullah and K. Oldham. They may not be altered or reproduced in any form.)


  1. Darwin to Cochrane: Evolution and Evidence-Based Medicine by R. Lawrence Moss
  2. Applying Results of Randomized Trials to Clinical Practice by Shawn St. Peter
  3. Outcomes Studies and Clinical Practice by Fizan Abdullah
  4. American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program–Pediatric by Keith T. Oldham