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Selection of the Research Question 

Selection of the Research Question
Chapter:
Selection of the Research Question
Author(s):

Keiko Ueda

, Lotfi B Merabet

, Andre Brunoni

, and Felipe Fregni

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199324491.003.0002
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date: 18 November 2019

Selecting a research question is the first step of any research project. This chapter discusses how to formulate a specific research question from a variety of scientific interests. The reader will learn that a good research question needs to consider several aspects, such as feasibility, innovation, and significance, and that merging all these aspects into one research question may be challenging. This chapter reviews the importance of generating a strong research question using the PICOT format: population (P), intervention (I), control (C), outcomes (O), and time (T). This chapter also discusses the selection of appropriate outcome variables—surrogates or clinical endpoints, based on the types of questions or study phase. The final goal of this chapter is to refine the researcher’s general idea into the process of shaping a strong research question that will be feasible, important, ethical, and answerable.

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