Background and objectives: There is considerable actual and potential waste in research. The aim of this article is to describe how using an evidence-based research approach before conducting a study helps to ensure that the new study truly adds value.
Study design and setting: Evidence-based research is the use of prior research in a systematic and transparent way to inform a new study so that it is answering questions that matter in a valid, efficient, and accessible manner. In this second article of the evidence-based research series, we describe how to apply an evidence-based research approach before starting a new study.
Results: Before a new study is performed, researchers need to provide a solid justification for it using the available scientific knowledge as well as the perspectives of end users. The key method for both is to conduct a systematic review of earlier relevant studies.
Conclusion: Describing the ideal process illuminates the challenges and opportunities offered through the suggested evidence-based research approach. A systematic and transparent approach is needed to provide justification for and to optimally design a relevant and necessary new study.
Keywords: Clinical health research; Clinical trials; Evidence synthesis; Evidence-based research; Medical ethics; Research ethics; Systematic review.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.