Document Detail

Why we need observational studies to evaluate the effectiveness of health care.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8634569     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The view is widely held that experimental methods (randomised controlled trials) are the "gold standard" for evaluation and that observational methods (cohort and case control studies) have little or no value. This ignores the limitations of randomised trials, which may prove unnecessary, inappropriate, impossible, or inadequate. Many of the problems of conducting randomised trials could often, in theory, be overcome, but the practical implications for researchers and funding bodies mean that this is often not possible. The false conflict between those who advocate randomised trials in all situations and those who believe observational data provide sufficient evidence needs to be replaced with mutual recognition of the complementary roles of the two approaches. Researchers should be united in their quest for scientific rigour in evaluation, regardless of the method used.
N Black
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  BMJ (Clinical research ed.)     Volume:  312     ISSN:  0959-8138     ISO Abbreviation:  BMJ     Publication Date:  1996 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-07-05     Completed Date:  1996-07-05     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8900488     Medline TA:  BMJ     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1215-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
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MeSH Terms
Data Collection
Great Britain
Health Services Research*
Liability, Legal
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Treatment Outcome

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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