Conducting a valid clinical research would require a wholesome understanding of the whole research process. This has been partly due to the less intuitive concepts of clinical epidemiology, varied terminology, inconsistent taxonomy, challenging natures of realising a clinical research, from designing, running data collection, analysing results and writing up for dissemination and publication. The research process almost always begins with a research idea, refined into a research question or hypothesis, further consolidated in theoretical designs, data collection designs and statistical designs of a proposed clinical research project, before launching and conducting it in the field, to data management, reporting and publishing of it in medical journals.
Thinking about conducting a high-impact research should include putting the idea through a common-sense check. It has been increasingly observed that a ‘simple’ conclusion results from a 'difficult' scientific research endeavor. Making progresses and advances in clinical science should not make us to become primordial in common sense and losing the simple logic.
Keeping the whole research process and thoughts linked from the beginning to the end, do not lose common sense, involving patients or potential research output end-users in the research planning and not overdoing unnecessary procedures in the research causing the research to become expensive are some of important keys to high-quality research.
“Hierarchies of evidence should be replaced by accepting- indeed embracing- a diversity of approaches. This is not a plea to abandon RCTs (randomized controlled trial) and replace them with observational studies. Nor is it a claim that the Bayesian approaches to the design and analysis of experimental and non-experimental data should supplant all other statistical methods. Rather, it is a plea to investigators to continue to develop and improve their methods; to decision-makers to avoid adopting entrenched positions about the nature of evidence; and for both to accept that the interpretation of evidence requires judgment.”
- Sir Michael Rawlins, a past Chairman of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) United Kingdom.
Location : Clinical Research Unit Level 1, Hospital Pengajar UPM