A basic introduction to medical research. Part iii: What can the practitioner do?
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Practitioners can become involved in research in two ways. Firstly, they can and should use the results of research. Practitioners need to know how to access the research literature and how to critically appraise a research paper. They also need a sophisticated understanding of how to interpret the practical implications of a study. Secondly, practitioners can undertake original research. This starts from the choice of a research question or hypothesis. The researcher should carefully consider the relevance of the question and should undertake a literature review to ensure that the research builds appropriately on existing knowledge. Collaboration with experienced researchers can be especially valuable as can the use of methodological checklists to ensure that all aspects of trial design have been considered. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, research should be published, no matter what the findings.