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Nursing Informatics: NURS 4303: 4. Study Type

Study type

Now that you have determined the type of question you are trying to answer, choose the study type that is best for that type of question.

If your question is:

Therapy:  Use Randomized Controlled Trials, Systematic Reviews, or Meta-Analysis

Diagnosis:  Use Prospective, bind comparison to gold standard (compares the old standard with the new item to be tried: Example:  Rapid HIV Test versus the standard ELISA test are the results just as reliable?)

Etiology/Harm:  Use Cohort or case study

Prognosis:  Use Cohort

Prevention:  Use Randomized Controlled Trial, Systematic Reviews, or Meta-Analysis

Clinical Exam:  Use Prospective, blind comparison to a gold standard

Cost:  Use Economic Analysis


All 3 of the examples below are Therapy questions, so we would search for Randomized Controlled Trials, Systematic Reviews, or Meta Analysis to answer these questions.

Example: In a child under 2 years of age with otitis media, is watchful waiting versus amoxicillin x 10 days as effective in reducing symptoms.

Example: In a patient with Bell's Palsy, is valacyclovir versus prednisolone more effective in improving facial paralysis?

Example: For all persons entering the critical care unit, is the addition of hand rubbing with a waterless, alcohol based solution more effective than just hand washing with soap and water in reducing nosocomial infections?

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