Wednesday, August 27, 2014

“What does it take to make a good conference presentation?”

International Society for Quality of Life Research is proud to announce the first two hosted webinars being presented in the fall of 2014. Our webinars are an essential part of ISOQOL’s education programs. As a leader in quality of life research and patient-centered outcomes, I am inviting you to partner with ISOQOL as a webinar sponsor. Visit our website at Partner with ISOQOL.
New Investigator Special Interest Group announces:
“What does it take to make a good conference presentation?”
Thursday, September 11, 2014 beginning at 11:00 AM-12:00 PM EDT

Presented by 
Neil Aaronson, PhD and Bellinda King-Kallimanis, PhD
This webinar is designed for New Investigators and first time presenters. Presenting at a conference can be a great way to get feedback from the scientific community, is an important incentive to travel and attend a meeting, and can be one of the most enjoyable and social aspects of academics. However, delivering an effective and engaging presentation is challenging. Many New Investigators do not get focused advice on giving good presentations and can feel overwhelmed as they and their work are at the center of attention in a room full of senior investigators and their peers. For conferences with an international scope, like ISOQOL the challenge can also be compounded by language barriers. However, there are fundamental tips and tricks that one can learn in order to improve both their oral and poster presentations. Some of the key principles address the design and layout of posters and slides while others focus on communication during a presentation. In both instances, practice makes perfect.
Health Preference Research and Ibero America Special Interest Groups present:
“Lessons learned from the EQ-5D-3L valuation in Brazil”
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 beginning at 11:00 AM-12:30 PM EDT

Presented by 
Marisa Santos, MD, PhD, Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia
Monica Akissue Cintra, MD, PhD, Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia
Andréa Libório, MSc, Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia
Claudia Pereira, PhD, ENSP- FIOCRUZ
Marcelo Correa, MSc, Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia  
The EQ-5D-3L is a multi-attribute preference-based instrument which provides a simple, generic measure of health outcome for clinical decision-making and economic evaluation. Current evidence points that values and preferences regarding health outcomes differ between countries, so to enable local high-level decisions regarding resources allocation it’s essential to have country-specific data. Between 2009 and 2013 a valuation study was carried out in four Brazilian urban areas aiming to derive societal values for EQ-5D-3L health states based on time trade-off (TTO) responses. The interview protocol was a revised version of the original Measurement and Valuation of Health protocol, with the exception that all 243 health states (saturation study) were valued and states valued by each respondent were randomly assigned (unbalanced).
The purpose of this workshop is to share the Brazilian experience on health preference measurement, through methods and results discussion. In this session the panel of speakers will describe the study design, exploring the alternative methodological options and discussing its impact on value estimation and to states selection. This workshop includes lessons for all researchers interested in valuation studies in developing countries as well as methodological issues with traditional valuation tasks (e.g., TTO).
On behalf of the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) and its leadership, we invite you to partner in support our mission to advance the scientific study of health-related quality of life and other patient-centered outcomes to identify effective interventions, enhance the quality of health care and promote the health of populations. Your partnership is critical to our efforts in this ongoing charge.

Please review the many options and benefits to becoming a Partner of ISOQOL. Visit our website at 
Partner with ISOQOLFor more information on the ISOQOL Webinars, please contact Colleen Pedersen at 414-918-9797 or

Monday, August 4, 2014

New information about New INvestigators SIG on ISOQOL website

Dear all,

I am happy to announce that the ISOQOL website has renewed the information about the NI SIG so you can mind more about the SIG, it's co-chairs, and the activities we promote!

Have a look:

Best wishes,

Katerina & Marc

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Some of you New Investigators have heard by now whether the Scientific Program committee has accepted
your work as a poster, or perhaps, even as an oral. Meanwhile, the conference date comes closer and the ISOQOL website is updating conference information on a regular basis. For some, this will be their first ISOQOL experience. For others, the conference has by now become about catching up with colleagues and friends from abroad. In any case, regardless of experience, attending an ISOQOL conference can be daunting, especially since the number of conference attendees is getting higher each year. Hence, we want to use this issue of Quality of Life Quarterly to provide some tips and tricks that could help you have a fruitful and pleasant stay at beautiful Berlin, Germany.

• Prepare your conference schedule carefully – look up the symposia and presentations you would like to attend, people you wish to meet, and workshops you want to follow.

• Get to know other new investigators – not only will you learn more about their research, but you may also learn more about the conference, its attendees, and which bars you need to visit.

• Come to the Tricks of the Trade symposium – Galina Velikova, MD, PhD, FRCP (current president of ISOQOL) and Carolyn Schwartz, PhD will share with you their road to success and will make time to answer some of your questions.

• Get yourself a mentor during the Mentor/Mentee reception – it is by far the easiest and most straightforward way of asking a senior researcher about your research, doing research, being a researcher, and getting the most out of your conference stay.

• When presenting a poster – don’t forget to bring handouts. In addition, make sure that everybody can clearly see who you are, where you are from, and how to contact you.

• Oral presentations are exciting. But they are never SO exciting that they need to become stressful to be successful. So enjoy it. And make sure those in the back can see and hear what you are talking about.

• Always wanted to meet that famed professor or that leading authority on your PhD subject? Go ahead and introduce yourself! Most of the time, these senior researchers are just as interested in you as you are in them.

• Make sure you get involved with a Special Interest Group (SIG) of your liking – chances are you will meet many new people, and these contacts often form longlasting collaborations or even friendships.

• Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It is a great way of getting involved during the conference.

• Remember – conference attendees are here to learn about new research and meet new people, so do not hesitate to approach people.

• Last but not least – have fun!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We have a new co-chair!!! Say hello to Catherine Golics!

Hello New Investigators,
Thank you for electing me as your new co-chair for the ISOQOL New Investigators SIG. I am very much looking forward to my role and to working with Marc to continue the great work of the SIG so far.
A little bit about my background; I am from the UK and a pharmacist by training. I completed my PhD in 2013 which involved exploring and measuring the impact of illness on family members of patients. For the last two years I have been working as an Outcomes Researcher for ICON PRO (formerly Oxford Outcomes), a consultancy company.
I have attended four ISOQOL conferences over the past five years and have enjoyed being an active member of the New Investigator SIG, attending the academic and social events organised by the SIG and making some strong professional connections and friendships. At my first ISOQOL conference I travelled on my own and did not know anyone, so found that meeting a group of individuals at similar career stages to myself made the experience of my first conference a lot less intimidating and a lot more fun! During my time as co-chair I’d like to see a focus on first-time conference attendees and look forward to sharing my ideas around this at the upcoming ISOQOL conference in Berlin. In addition, I would like to develop the online blog to make it more interactive and easier for SIG members to keep in touch throughout the year. I have already begun to discuss the exciting upcoming events planned for the SIG with Marc and Katerina (who I will replace as co-chair in October) and encourage you to get in touch with any additional ideas of your own.
I look forward to meeting those of you who I have not yet met at the annual conference in Berlin.
Best wishes

Thursday, April 17, 2014


One of the primary tasks of being a New Investigator is getting to know about the research done by others.
Most often, the only source of information available to us is the study report, or published article, provided
by the authors. Very often, when reading these interesting studies, we end up thinking: “is this a good study”? However, due to space restrictions, authors are often unable to provide all the necessary information. As such, this question is difficult to answer. Luckily, the recently published CONSORT extension for PROs and the widely used Cochrane Risk of Bias tool can provide us with some guidelines. In this article, we want
to use these two excellent guidelines to highlight some of the issues we consider to be important in order to assess the quality of the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of PRO research. Although these guidelines focus primarily on randomized controlled trails, we feel that the items may, to some extent, also be applicable to observational research. Below, you will find our item selection in question form.


Did the authors...
• ... provide a rationale for the
choice of the PRO instrument

• ... provide or cite evidence of the
PRO instrument validity and reliability?
• ... provide information on the
generation of the randomized
sequence used?

• ... provide information on the
concealment of allocations prior
to assignment?

• ... report on the blinding of both
the participants and personnel,
as well as the outcome assessors?

• ... state the status of the PRO as
either a primary or secondary

Conduct: Did the authors...
• ... provide the intended PRO data
collection schedule?

• ... report the mode of administration
of the PRO tool and the
methods of collecting data (e.g.
telephone, other)?

Analysis: Did the authors...
• ... conduct a power/sample size
calculation relevant to the PRO?

• ... explicitly state their statistical
approaches in dealing with missing

• ... provide evidence of appropriate
statistical analysis and tests
of statistical significance?

• ... state how multiple comparisons
were addressed?

Reporting: Did the authors...
• ... report the extent of the data

• ... explain the reasons for missing

• ... provide the magnitude of the
effect size for each statistically
significant PRO result?

• ... report the PRO outcomes in a
graphic format?

• ... describe study patients’ characteristics,
including baseline

PRO scores?
• ... explicitly discuss the limitations
of the PRO components of
the study?

• ... discuss generalizability issues
uniquely related to the PRO results?

• ... discuss the clinical significance
of the PRO findings?

We hope that the above mentioned items will prove helpful. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on the requirements that need to be met in order for research to be labeled ‘robust’. As such, quality assessments remain, like most aspects of research, a subjective and selective process – and is therefore best done by at least two independent reviewers. A suggestion from us would be to join or perhaps even start a journal club. This way, you can discuss the research of others with your peers, practice your skills, and have a lot of fun at the same time!

Friday, January 31, 2014

New Investigators Scholarship oppurtunities

Student and New Investigator Scholarships

The ISOQOL Scholarship Program has been developed to increase the opportunity for members in the early stages of their careers and for members from developing countries to attend and present at the annual conference by providing funds to help defray the expenses associated with travel to the annual conference.
Travel scholarships provide access to the educational content of the annual conference, and also provide members the opportunity to meet with their peers and establish research contacts. Members who meet eligibility requirements can apply for both scholarships.

Eligible applicants must be current ISOQOL members, and either a current student or new investigator (within 5 years of completing terminal degree or medical residency.)

Application will be posted in February. 

Applications must be completed online by  Friday, 30 May, 2014.  Applications will be reviewed by the ISOQOL Scholarship Committee, led by Chair, Gloria Juarez, PhD (United States).  Decisions will be made in June. Scholarship funds will be provided following the conference.  Advance funds will not be available

Call for Reviewers - lets become more involved and be a part of the Scientific Program Committee!!

Call for Abstract Reviewers

Abstract reviewers serve a vital role in the scientific program planning by ensuring the quality of the educational content presented at the annual conference. Serving as an abstract reviewer provides an excellent way to support ISOQOL. Time commitment is low, but the impact is high.
ISOQOL is seeking abstract reviewers for the following presentation types:
Workshop Abstract Review:                7 February - 28 February, 2014
Symposium Abstract Review:             14 February - 7 March, 2014
Oral and Poster Abstract Review:       1 May - 23 May, 2014
Volunteers may choose which presentation types they would like to review - as many types as you would like. Abstract review is 100% electronic and all rankings will be submitted online.

Contact the ISOQOL Executive Office at for more information or to volunteer to serve.