The SIR (Italian Rheumatology Society) Study Center was established in 2011 as a pilot project, modeled after the epidemiological research unit of the Spanish Society of Rheumatology (SER).
In the first phase, from 2011-2012, the so-called 'epidemiological task force', consisting of 2 people, was mandated to test the feasibility of developing multicenter studies managed by SIR and to promote epidemiological research and evidence-based medicine in the context of the Society. Thus, multicenter observational studies (KING Study, on gout), population-based descriptive epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology studies (RECORD Study, on rheumatoid arthritis), and SIR guidelines (gout and osteoarthritis) were developed in the early years.
In a second phase, the Board of Directors formalized a strategic plan for the development of the Study Center aimed at gradually increasing the volume of projects and diversifying their types with greater coverage of topics of strategic interest to the Board of Directors.
In recent years the Study Center has seen further growth in the type of professionals involved (clinical methodologists, biostatisticians, data managers and study coordinators) and in the number and type of projects followed, establishing growing collaborations with next-generation principal investigators.
Mission, strategic goals and activities
The mission of the Study Center is to promote high quality scientific research in rheumatology by proposing, supporting, executing and disseminating projects of national and international interest.
The strategic goals of the Study Center therefore include:
- Developing surveillance systems for rheumatologic diseases on a national basis
- Developing an in-house clinical trial management platform and nonprofit multicenter studies
- Training a class of principal investigators
- Producing up-to-date clinical practice guidelines of high quality standards.
In order to pursue these strategic goals, the Study Center carries out the following activities:
- Development of clinical research protocols in collaboration with the principal investigators (https://www.reumatologia.it/regolamenti#registri)
- Submission of strategic project protocols (with SIR as Promoter) to ethics committees
- Development of electronic data collection and remote monitoring systems
- Statistical analysis
- Processing of surveys
- Development of guidelines
- Membership advisory activities and support to SIR study groups (https://www.reumatologia.it/regolamenti#gruppi)
- Training activities in research methodology.
From 2011 until today:
- 22 research projects
- over 400 experimenters throughout Italy and abroad
- 138 articles published on Pubmed
- 188 national and international abstracts produced
- over 40 member consultations carried out
- 7 guidelines produced
- 11 young rheumatologists assisted in master's project
Updated: January 2023