Rationale and objectives: Here we review the current state of multicenter radiology research (MRR), and utilize a survey of experienced researchers to identify common advantages, barriers, and resources to guide future investigators.
Materials and methods: The Association of University Radiologists established a Radiology Research Alliance task force, Multi-center Research Studies in Radiology, composed of 12 society members to review MRR. A REDCap survey was designed to gain more insight from experienced researchers. Recipients were authors identified from a PubMed database search, utilizing search terms "multicenter" or "multisite" and "radiology." The survey included investigator background information, reasons why, barriers to, and resources that investigators found helpful in conducting or participating in MRR.
Results: The survey was completed by 23 of 80 recipients (29%), the majority (76%) of whom served as a primary investigator on at least one MRR project. Respondents reported meeting collaborators at national or international (74%) and society (39%) meetings. The most common perceived advantages of MRR were increased sample size (100%) and improved generalizability (91%). External funding was considered the most significant barrier to MRR, reported by 26% of respondents. Institutional funding, setting up a central picture archiving and communication system, and setting up a central database were considered a significant barrier by 30%, 22%, and 22% of respondents, respectively. Resources for overcoming barriers included motivated staff (74%), strong leadership (70%), regular conference calls (57%), and at least one face-to-face meeting (57%).
Conclusions: Barriers to MRR include funding and establishing a central database and a picture archiving and communication system. Upon embarking on an MRR project, forming a motivated team who meets and speaks regularly is essential.
Keywords: Multicenter research; Radiology Research Alliance (RRA).
Copyright © 2018 The Association of University Radiologists. All rights reserved.