Methodology for clinical research

J Prev Med Hyg. 2022 Oct 17;63(2 Suppl 3):E267-E278. doi: 10.15167/2421-4248/jpmh2022.63.2S3.2769. eCollection 2022 Jun.


A clinical research requires a systematic approach with diligent planning, execution and sampling in order to obtain reliable and validated results, as well as an understanding of each research methodology is essential for researchers. Indeed, selecting an inappropriate study type, an error that cannot be corrected after the beginning of a study, results in flawed methodology. The results of clinical research studies enhance the repertoire of knowledge regarding a disease pathogenicity, an existing or newly discovered medication, surgical or diagnostic procedure or medical device. Medical research can be divided into primary and secondary research, where primary research involves conducting studies and collecting raw data, which is then analysed and evaluated in secondary research. The successful deployment of clinical research methodology depends upon several factors. These include the type of study, the objectives, the population, study design, methodology/techniques and the sampling and statistical procedures used. Among the different types of clinical studies, we can recognize descriptive or analytical studies, which can be further categorized in observational and experimental. Finally, also pre-clinical studies are of outmost importance, representing the steppingstone of clinical trials. It is therefore important to understand the types of method for clinical research. Thus, this review focused on various aspects of the methodology and describes the crucial steps of the conceptual and executive stages.

Keywords: Bias; Clinical research; Experimental studies; Observational studies; Study design.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Research Design*