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A clinical trial is defined as a prospective study comparing the effect and value of intervention(s) against a control in human beings and is regarded as the highest level of evidence available regarding effecacy of treatments.    This type of study underpins most of the studies conducted by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to achieve product registration.  However, there are many other types of study. 

Epidemiology is the basic science of preventive medicine and public health and is accompanied by other types of study design.  Epidemiological studies are frequently referred to as "observational studies"; usually because no specific intervention is mandated as part of the study.

Patient registries are proving to be a valuable source of information on current treatment practices and are increasingly valuable to collect information on rare diseases.  Surveys, cross-sectional or longitudinal, are another avenue to collect valuable "real life" information.

Although many clinical trials are of high quality, there are unfortunately, many which are deficient in key aspects of study design, conduct, analysis, presentation or interpretation.  Conversely, although epidemiological studies are regarded as a pooer level of evidence, a well conducted epidimiological study may well be more valuable than a poorly conducted clinical trial.

At Statistical Revelations we are involved in all types of studies and can work with your team to ensure a well designed, well conducted and appropriately analysed study.