July 18, 2012

Understanding Medical Research

There are always studies and testing being done to learn about the next opportunity to overcome illness or injury. The battle against disease is a big one and that is a good thing. You may hear about new studies or the results of some type of medical research from time to time and wonder about the results. The results in some cases appear to be very positive or they may appear to not fit with the information you already know. On the other hand, it is quite common for some study to dispute the findings of another study.

With all of that kept in mind, it can be very limiting for patients who just want to find a cure. The good news is that you can find a solution to many of your health concerns by focusing in on the details of the study. Here are some things to focus on.

  • Does the student use people or does it use animals? The two differences here could mean skewed results.
  • Does the study include people that have the same types of problems you have? This will determine if the treatment can be effective in your case.
  • Who paid for the research? In some cases, if a drug company paid for the trial, it may have skewed results in favor of that drug.
  • Learn the side effects of the treatment if it is new. This can imply some important factors on what can be accomplished by the treatment.
  • Find out if the trial was a controlled clinical test, one that backs up the information. A controlled study is the only type considered valid.

If the study does not meet these qualifications, it may not be accurate.