Blinding is a common element used in rigorously designed trials. Most people are familiar with the general concept but what is its purpose and what is the best way to perform it? This blog by Neelam Khan explores both of these questions and discusses ways to tackle situations where blinding cannot be done.
Saul Crandon provides an overview of Case-control and Cohort studies: what are they, how are they different, and what are the pros and cons you need to consider in each study design.
In this blog, Leonardo provides 5 interpretations that you should consider when you read or hear about a reported association in observational studies.
This blog provides a detailed overview of the Delphi Technique, a method of congregating expert opinion through a series of iterative questionnaires, with a goal of coming to a group consensus. It covers what it is, the process involved, pros and cons and when you would consider using it.
Tarang Sharma was lead-author of a recent article entitled “The Yusuf-Peto method was not a robust method for meta-analyses of rare events data from antidepressant trials”. In this blog, Tarang gives more details about meta-analysis methods of rare events and sparse data, and why these can lead to misleading results.
This blog provides an introduction to sample size and power; what it is, why it’s important to consider when designing a study, and how to carry out a power calculation.
A pilot study is a small scale preliminary study conducted in order to evaluate feasibility of the key steps in a future, full-scale project. Pilot studies can teach researchers about any amendments they will need to make to the design of the future study, in order to minimise waste of time and resources.
This blog provides a detailed overview of the concept of ‘blinding’ in randomised controlled trials (RCTs). It covers what blinding is, common methods of blinding, why blinding is important, and what researchers might do when blinding is not possible. It also explains the concept of allocation concealment.
This blog provides a basic overview of: 1) what a meta-analysis is; 2) why they’re considered the ‘gold standard’ of evidence; and 3) how a meta-analysis is carried out.
This blog explains what allocation concealment is & why it’s important, in terms of preventing researchers from (intentionally or otherwise) influencing which participants are assigned to a given intervention group.
Outcome switching is a major problem in clinical trial reporting that distorts the evidence doctors and patients use to make real-world clinical decisions. Numerous prevalence studies have already shown this to be an extremely common problem, even in top medical journals. However the CEBM Outcome Monitoring Project (COMPare) has taken a new approach: writing to journals to correct the record on individual trials, in the hope that individual accountability and open data sharing will help solve this important problem. Our main question was: how will the journals respond? This blog tells the story of COMPare so far.
Patients, carers and members of the public offer a unique perspective in health and social care research, adding to the expertise of the research team. Improving healthcare services will only be possible by involving the people accessing those services.
Currently decisions made on treatment of bronchiectasis are based on guidelines which have a very poor evidence base. Read more to find out!
A description of the two types of data analysis – “As Treated” and “Intention to Treat” – using a hypothetical trial as an example