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Research: Types of Studies

Types of Studies


When to use each study type

Question type Example Type of study


Is this intervention more effective than another?


Diagnostic Test How accurate is this diagnostic test? Independent, blind comparison to a Gold Standard


What is the likely outcome, progression or survival time for this condition?

Cohort Study > Case Control > Case Series

Harm / Etiology What are the causes of this condition or state of affairs? RCT > Cohort Study > Case Control > Case Series


How to reduce the risk of disease RCT > Cohort Study > Case Control > Case Series
Cost-effectiveness Is intervention x more cost-effective than intervention y? Economic Analysis

Quality of Life

What will be the quality of life for the patient with this condition following this intervention etc.? Qualitative Study
 *In each case a systematic review of all the available studies is better than an individual study. A systematic review will compare several RCTs that have studied the same treatment & aggregate results.