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UMKC University Libraries

Physician Assistant Capstone Project

UMKC Physician Capstone Project Guide. MEDPA 5595 Capstone.

Title

Highlight the specific topic and type of project. Engage the intended audience. Creative titles are acceptable, but remain professional.

Author

Author: Include your UMKC School of Medicine MMS Physician Assistant program affiliation and student status.   Collaborator:  Name and title or affiliation.

Structured Abstract

Required sections include Title, Author, Introduction, Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusions. One page limit.

Introduction

The introduction should state the purpose of the review or project, why it is needed at this time, and what you are going to cover.3 It leads into the background and significance. Thus the introduction is a bit superficial and paraphrased and the next section provides the depth and detail.

Background & Significance

The introduction should state the purpose of the review or project, why it is needed at this time, and what you are going to cover.3 It leads into the background and significance. Thus the introduction is a bit superficial and paraphrased and the next section provides the depth and detail.

Methods

What did you do?

If the project is a literature review, the methods will describe the scope of your literature search for all reports on the topic. You will document and explain your search strategy including which search engines/ databases you used, your keywords, subject headings, sub-headings, and other controlled vocabulary.  You will also need to explain your inclusion/exclusion criteria and why you chose the type of literature (RCT, case report, literature review, book chapter, systematic review, meta-analysis, etc…) that you ultimately used in your paper. If applicable describe and cite the quality evidence tool used (e.g., GRADE). The librarians are able to help with this. For a literature review you must have at least three high quality original studies to critical appraise and summarize. Use the 'Articles' Tab in this guide to help get you started. 

For research and quality improvement projects, the methods section will describe what was done to conduct the research or QI. These methods should be evidence based and appropriately cited when applicable. These details will also be found in your IRB research protocol.  It will also describe your statistical analysis methods.

Flow charts are nice accessories to this section to show the number of articles or patients started with, how many were excluded for what reasons and the final resulting number included in the review or project.

For other projects it will describe the how the project was conducted, by who, define the audience, how many times, what resources were used, and other applicable details. Consult with the faculty course directors and your collaborator for advice.

Results

What did I find?

For a literature review, this section is a presentation of the review of the selected evidence. It is a critical appraisal. For each study include: “(a) the key findings; (b) the limitations and/or  shortfalls, if any; (c) whether the methods are sound for evaluating the hypothesis; (d) whether the results can be obtained with those methods and are justified; (e) whether the interpretation of the results and the conclusions drawn are sound; and (f) the relative contribution of the work to the field or topic being reviewed.”3  Very important to include your critical appraisal of the selected studies.

For other types of capstone projects this section will describe the applicable results of implementing the methods of the project:

  • For research or QI, the descriptive and analytic results of the methods described.
  • For education, describe or display the product and results of delivering the education,

Discussion

What do the results mean?

Bring together the findings of your project and discuss the strengths and limitations of your project. Discuss how your findings fit within the landscape of the topic, returning to your objective, explicitly state how your project filled, or partially filled, or did not address the gap you originally identified. Comment on future directions, next steps,  and other needed projects. 

Conclusion

A few brief statements about what you can conclude from your project and what recommendation you can make.

References

These will be the list of your in-text citations, in chronological order of citations, and in the American Medical Association (AMA) Citation Style. It is highly recommended that you consult with the librarians for help in finding resources for the AMA format style and they can also show you tools that automate the process for you. For example they are able to show you how PubMed now generates AMA style citations. Another useful resource is the Purdue University Online Writing Lab; AMA style webpage is https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/ama_style/index.html.

Or see the Citation Tab in this guide. 

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