Research

Research

The research activities will be dealing with two major concerns i.e.

To increase the understanding of different interventions to enable better decision making by physicians by developing standards to guide them in optimising the use of resources. This is possible through outcomes research which takes into account treatment and clinical end points obtained through randomised or epidemiologic studies.

To enhance the accuracy of diagnosis and effectiveness of treatment and prevention of diseases of the liver, gallbladder and pancreas by providing physicians, surgeons and other health professionals with data derived from basic research which addresses the evaluation of diagnostic tests and the natural history of disease.

 

Outcomes Research

This will provide the opportunity for physicians to critically evaluate their practices and furnish scientific date for policy recommendations, as the following subsets of outcomes research acknowledges cost and human factors:

Drug efficacy and safety studies that will include cost effectiveness and quality of life issues.

Host and virus related factors that may be useful in predicting the likelihood of response to treatment. Patients with the highest probability of achieving a therapeutic response can then be preferentially selected for treatment.

Epidemiological surveys to determine the prevalence of viral hepatitis in various settings and patient populations for the purpose of archiving local data and maintaining a National Hepatitis Registry.

 

Basic Research

The opportunity to understand and appreciate the differences between available diagnostic methods and the natural history of liver diseases especially viral hepatitis will directly enhance the effectiveness of physicians in the management and control of liver diseases. Such as opportunity can be obtained through the following efforts:

  1. Evaluation of rapid diagnostic tests for viral hepatitis in terms of sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility as compared with current gold standards.
  2. Use of molecular techniques, in particular, amplification and detection of nucleic acids to determine the following:
    1. Correlation between viral load during acute disease with severity of disease and chronicity.
    2. Determination of viral genotypes of Hepatitis C virus in various populations and its role in predicting treatment outcomes.
    3. Determination of viral load independent of genotype effects to enable close monitoring of antiviral therapy and disease progression.
    4. The use of in-situ hybridisation for the detection of viral genome and localisation of infected cells which will provide information on the pathogenesis of virus induced liver diseases.
    5. To detect the presence of precore, core response to therapy and problems in laboratory diagnosis.
  3. Determine the natural history of viral hepatitis in the local scene by:
    1. Carrying out long term prospective follow-up studies of infected subjects from the time of disease onset.
    2. Conducting retrospective studies of chronically infected subjects with known risk factors from the time of disease onset and following them up for a specified period to look for evidence for disease progression and outcomes

 

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