Journal Club Summary

Methodology Score: 3/5
Usefulness Score: 2.5/5

Question and Methods: This tertiary-care centre, placebo controlled RCT examined whether nasally inhaling isopropyl alcohol provides better nausea relief than normal saline.

Findings: At 10 mins, inhaled isopropyl alcohol offers increased nausea relief compared to normal saline (effect size of 3) with no significant differences in pain or rescue anti-emetic use.

Limitations: Short duration, small study size, methodological issues (blinding, subjective outcomes, convenience sample).

Interpretation: In the ED adult patients with undifferentiated N/V, a trial of nasally inhaled isopropyl alcohol may provide short term nausea relief of up to 10 mins.

By: Dr. Mazen Jazi

Reference: Beadle KL, et al. Ann Emerg Med. 2016 Jul;68(1):1-9.e1.

Epi Lesson

Likert Scales 

Rensis Likert was an American social psychologist. His scales continue to be used to measure attitudes, values, opinions, pain, agreement, etc. They can be odd-numbered (including a mid-point) or not (forcing respondents to pick a side). Provide more (0-10) or less (1-5) granularity. They can use “ordinal” variables (e.g. SES= Low-Medium-High) with no fixed interval between categories, “interval” variables (e.g. annual income=$5k-$10k-$15k), or be “in between” (e.g. strongly agree-agree-neutral-disagree-strongly disagree).

By: Dr. Christian Vaillancourt


  • Dr. Rosenberg is an emergency physician at the Ottawa Hospital, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, and Director of the Digital Scholarship and Knowledge Dissemination Program.