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Research: why and how? 

Research: why and how?
Chapter:
Research: why and how?
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199608478.003.0001
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date: 24 October 2020

This chapter sets the scene of the book and provides a rationale for why research should be done. It begins with a definition of research and continues with a brief historical overview of medical research. The pivotal role of research in everyday medical practice is explained. The key databases containing published peer-reviewed articles related to clinical medicine and healthcare are detailed. The three major goals of research (description, explanation and prediction) are outlined. This chapter further focuses on the principles of the scientific method, its characteristics and main steps. Several classifications of the types of research are also presented. Bradford-Hill's proposed criteria for causality are also outlined. The hierarchy of research evidence and the corresponding levels of recommendations are also presented.

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