“An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.”

AN OVERVIEW OF CLINICAL RESEARCH: THE LAY OF THE LAND


Many clinicians report that they cannot read the medical literature critically. To address this difficulty, we provide a primer of clinical research for clinicians and researchers alike. Clinical research falls into two general categories: experimental and observational, based on whether the investigator assigns the exposures or not. Experimental trials can also be subdivided into two: randomised and non-randomised. Observational studies can be either analytical or descriptive. Analytical studies feature a comparison (control) group, whereas descriptive studies do not. Within analytical studies, cohort studies track people forward in time from exposure to outcome. By contrast, case-control studies work in reverse, tracing back from outcome to exposure. Cross-sectional studies are like a snapshot, which measures both exposure and outcome at one time point. Descriptive studies, such as case-series reports, do not have a comparison group. Thus, in this type of study, investigators cannot examine associations, a fact often forgotten or ignored. Measures of association, such as relative risk or odds ratio, are the preferred way of expressing results of dichotomous outcomes—eg, sick versus healthy. Confidence intervals around these measures indicate the precision of these results. Measures of association with confidence intervals reveal the strength, direction, and a plausible range of an effect as well as the likelihood of chance occurrence. By contrast, p values address only chance. Testing null hypotheses at a p value of 0·05 has no basis in medicine and should be discouraged.

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Hi,I,m Basim from Canada I,m physician and I,m interested in clinical research feild and web development.you are more welcome in our professional website.all contact forwarded to basimibrahim772@yahoo.com.


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