"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead
Review Article

Designing clinical trials in trauma surgery


The surgical community is plagued with a reputation for both failing to engage and to deliver on clinical research. This is in part due to the absence of a strong research culture, however it is also due to a multitude of barriers encountered in clinical research; particularly those involving surgical interventions. ‘Trauma’ amplifies these barriers, owing to the unplanned nature of care, unpredictable work patterns, the emergent nature of treatment and complexities in the consent process. This review discusses the barriers to clinical research in surgery, with a particular emphasis on trauma. It considers how barriers may be overcome, with the aim to facilitate future successful clinical research.Cite this article: Bone Joint Res 2014;3:123–9.