Exploring Trends of Executive Dysfunction in ICU Survivors (DSI-SRP)
This DSI-SRP fellowship funded Aidan Wells to work within the research team of Dr. Jim Jackson in the VUMC Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction, and Survivorship (CIBS) Center during the summer of 2021. Aidan is a senior with majors in Neuroscience and English.
The project funded by this fellowship aims to identify the level of diversity present in adult cohorts enrolled in intensive care unit (ICU)-related studies. The studies in question are those examining the risk factors for, prevalence of, and long-term outcomes in the cognition and mental health of patients discharged from the ICU. Analysis of these studies, while ongoing, has been conducted in the form of a systematic review for the purpose of synthesizing the demographic data from a variety of studies. Through this structure of review, we adhere to a strict PRISMA protocol that allows for the search through a wide breadth of articles while reducing subjectivity in article selection to a minimum. This method also translated well to utilization of filtering methods in R to reduce the series of documented articles that contained specific search terms to only those with clearly relevant demographic data. The overall goal for this project is to determine whether these studies that lead to changes in ICU protocol accurately represent the greater population and their diverse needs. Should the results of this review support the hypothesis that these studies have failed to utilize a diverse population, this study will function as a call-to-action to increase diligence regarding enrollment into ICU-related studies. Such results should also bring into question the effectiveness of current enrollment methods and inspire investigation to improve upon them.
In addition to receiving support through a DSI-SRP fellowship, this project was supported and facilitated by the DSI Data Science Team through their regular summer workshops and demo sessions.