Types of Research
Medical research that involves people are called clinical trials. There are two general types of clinical trial:
Interventional trials aim to find out more about a particular intervention, or treatment. People taking part are put into different treatment groups, so that the research team can compare the results.
Observational studies aim to find out what happens to people in different situations. The research team observe the people taking part, but they don’t influence what treatments people have. The people taking part aren’t put into treatment groups.
They are the primary way that researchers find out if a new treatment, like a new drug, diet, treatment method or medical device is safe and effective in people. Most clinical trials use comparison groups to compare medical strategies and treatments. Results will show if one group has a better outcome than the other.
This is usually conducted in one of two ways: One group receives an existing treatment for a condition, and the second group receives a new treatment There are typically four stages to clinical trials
|Phase I||Dose-ranging on healthy volunteers for safety|
|Phase II||Testing of drug on participants to assess efficacy and side effects|
|Phase III||Testing of drug on participants to assess efficacy, effectiveness and safety|
|Phase IV||Post marketing surveillance in public|
Research often uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to gain a complete understanding of the subject being studied. However, the right time to use either method (or using both together) can vary depending on the aims of the research.
Quantitative research is about collecting information that can be expressed numerically and typically include questions about age and demographics.
Qualitative research focuses more on behaviours, habits, motivations, preferences and experiences which are harder to quantify but offer important additional context to support statistical data.
Surveys and questionnaires can help build knowledge about how smell/taste disorders progress over time, how they develop, and the impact they have
Focus groups are generally used to gather people’s views, ideas, feelings, experiences and beliefs about a specific subject. While surveys or questionnaires are useful, they cannot easily capture what a person is thinking or feeling.
Responses in a focus group are open ended, broad, and qualitative. They provide more depth and get closer to what people are really thinking and feeling even though their responses may be harder or even impossible to record on a scale.
A focus group can enable a researcher to gather more information in a shorter period of time and provide insight into complicated topics. They can also be useful in helping a researcher prepare for a study on a larger scale.