The Reconstructive Surgery Trials Network (RSTN)
Jeremy Rodrigues and Matt Gardiner
What is the RSTN?
The Reconstructive Surgery Trials Network is a national research network that aims to develop multi-centre studies in hand surgery and plastic surgery. It was established with funding from the British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH) and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and is part of the Royal College of Surgeons Clinical Trials Initiative.
Why does this matter?
The evidence base in hand surgery is often of low quality. Historically may studies have been retrospective and single centre. Because we tend to have similar structures to services, the NHS can quickly and efficiently generate very large datasets compared to other centres and countries.
Who is the RSTN for?
Anybody from medical student to consultant can join the RSTN via the website (rstn.uk). We are particularly keen to encourage orthopaedic trainees with an interest in hand surgery to engage.
What can contributors get out of the RSTN?
· If you want to lead a study that you have conceived: the RSTN will support this.
· If you want less involvement: contributing to multi-centre data collection as a collaborator can be an effective way to get recognition and in some instances, citable authorship on national and international presentations and publications.
· For more involvement: stand for election to the RSTN’s national committee.
How does authorship work?
The terms of authorship are defined by each project at the outset. The RSTN follows the ICMJE guidance on authorship for collaborative studies. Usually the steering group will be Pubmed cited authors and take responsibility for the manuscript. Collaborators hitting pre-agreed targets (e.g. recruiting a certain number of patients) will be Pubmed cited. Collaborators not meeting the criteria will be acknowledged but will not be Pubmed cited.
This video explains a little more: RSTN video
Current hand surgery projects:
Placebo-arm RCTs in hand surgery
How can BSSH members get involved?
· Visit rstn.uk. join the mailing list and register interest to contribute as a collaborator.
· Attend the annual RSTN Trials Day each summer.
· Email firstname.lastname@example.org