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Physician Assistants: (PA/MPH) - Study Design

Find resources to learn more about research and appropriate study designs. 

Also view Himmelfarb's interactive Study Design 101 Tutorial to learn more about clinical medical studies. 

Quantitative/Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research for Public Health and Clinical Investigation

Clinical Question Types and Study Design

Foreground questions can be further classified into four groups: therapy, diagnosis, prognosis, and etiology/harm. Certain study designs are better suited for answering particular question types. 

Question Type Definition Appropriate Study Type(s)
Therapy Questions about the effectiveness of treatment to achieve an outcome (drugs, surgical  intervention, exercise, counseling, etc.) Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)
Diagnosis Questions about identification of a disorder in a patient presenting with specific symptoms RCT > Cohort Study
Prognosis Questions about the progression of a disease or outcome of a patient with a particular condition Cohort Study > Case Control Studies > Case Series
Etiology/Harm Questions about the negative impact from an  intervention or other procedure  Cohort Study > Case Control Studies > Case Series

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