In the process of doing my research for my Doctoral Program, I have learned how to differentiate different studies and determine their validity. Foremost is to locate the highest quality and validity of the research. This is followed by its relevant to a clinician’s practice. And lastly, it takes relatively little time (work) for the clinician to find and interpret it.
Usefulness of any source = Relevance x Validity/ Work
What constitutes research? The list below starts with the most relevant to least relevant.
Systematic Reviews – compare large numbers of studies and summarizes them
Randomized Control Studies (RCT) – control group research
Case series, Case reports
Editorial, Expert Opinions – New York Times, Newsweek
What does not constitute research?
The Internet search on news, blogs, sensational news
Self-promotion on products and services
Social media pertaining to individual’s opinions
Your friend’s opinion
Why does the above list does not constitute research? They are heavily-biased and have not been researched. They are opinions only and come from limited person’s experience. So how to find research? Here is the list:
Journal of Medicine i.e. New England Journal of Medicine
Research Publication from Specialty Medicine Group
Other medical journals