Building Networks for Global Clinical Research: The Basics

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Over the last several decades, interest in global health across all fields of medicine, including orthopaedic surgery, has grown markedly. Cross-national collaborations are an effective means of conducting high-quality clinical research and offer many advantages over single-center investigations. Successful collaboration requires a well-designed research protocol, development of an effective team structure, and the funding to ensure the project is sustained to completion. Equally important, investigators must consider the social, linguistic, and cultural context in which the study is being undertaken. Although randomized clinical trials are the highest level of evidence, study designs may have to be adapted to accommodate available resources, expertise, and local contextual factors. With appropriate planning, these collaborative endeavors can generate changes in clinical practice and positively impact health policy.

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