Scope of Things

Dr. Su Golder on Reporting Adverse Events in Clinical Research

April 4, 2023


Dr. Su Golder, associate professor and senior research fellow in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, has dedicated a significant portion of her career to improving the reporting of adverse events in clinical research. In this episode, she speaks with host Deborah Borfitz about why adverse events are vital to address but often difficult to ascertain for any given therapeutic intervention.

Golder talks about the strategic ways data can be manipulated—often leading to underreporting or misleading reporting—and the preferred guidelines that help researchers relay accurate information to clinicians and patients. She also discusses why data from randomized controlled trials are not always the best indicator of adverse advents in the real world and why social media provides valuable insights into why patients discontinue drug usage even when symptoms are considered minor. She says, “If something stops a patient from taking [a drug], then it doesn’t matter how effective [that drug] is. So [patient experience] is the most important thing.”

Su Golder, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Department of Health Sciences, University of York
Dr. Su Golder is an associate professor within the Health Services and Policy Research group at the University of York. She has a background as an information specialist with over 25 years of experience in literature searching. Golder has specialist expertise and teaching experience in systematic review methodology, systematic reviews of adverse effects, and using social media as a data source.

Her Ph.D. was funded by the Medical Research Council and has made an important contribution to retrieving information on adverse effects nationally and internationally. During her post-doctoral National Institute for Health Research fellowship, she expanded her work by investigating the use of unpublished data, text mining, and social media in the retrieval of adverse effects data. In her current research, she undertakes systematic reviews, develops systematic review methodology, conducts network analyses, and uses social media to gain wider information and healthcare user and provider perspectives. She is currently an elective member of the Cochrane Methods Executive and one of the founders and co-convenors of the Cochrane Adverse Effects Methods Group.