What kind of study was carried out?

There are a few basic types of scientific study that, once you know what they are, give you a much clearer way to question headlines or claims based on research. 

Different kinds of studies have different strengths and weaknesses, so their suitability for testing different claims varies. Knowing what kind of study you are dealing with is useful. 

And bear in mind that it is usually difficult to draw conclusions from any single study. 

We’ve outlined six types of study: within each ‘type’ there are almost limitless variations, but most boil down to one of the following:  Studies with microorganisms, cells or biological molecules outside their normal biological context (called ‘in vitro’ studies); animal studies; studies observing people; randomised controlled trialsclinical trials (usually a kind of randomised controlled trial); and systematic reviews.

Tags: evidence

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