Overview of Clinical Research Study Designs Using Examples From the Swallowing Literature Study designs have numerous advantages and disadvantages that must be considered when addressing a research question, hypothesis, and objective. These include but are not limited to cost, feasibility, and ethical concerns. This review describes common study designs from the dysphagia literature with corresponding relevant examples for each design type. Further, ... Article
Article  |   December 21, 2017
Overview of Clinical Research Study Designs Using Examples From the Swallowing Literature
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Angela M. Malek
    Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
  • John S. Luque
    Institute of Public Health, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
  • Kendrea L. (Focht) Garand
    Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, College of Allied Health Professions, University of South, Alabama, Mobile, AL
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures×
  • Financial: Angela M. Malek has no relevant financial interests to disclose. John S. Luque has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Kendrea L. (Focht) Garand has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Angela M. Malek has no relevant financial interests to disclose. John S. Luque has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Kendrea L. (Focht) Garand has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Angela M. Malek has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. John S. Luque has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Kendrea L. (Focht) Garand has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Angela M. Malek has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. John S. Luque has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Kendrea L. (Focht) Garand has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Part 4
Article   |   December 21, 2017
Overview of Clinical Research Study Designs Using Examples From the Swallowing Literature
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, December 2017, Vol. 2, 112-121. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG13.112
History: Received May 10, 2017 , Revised August 8, 2017 , Accepted August 18, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, December 2017, Vol. 2, 112-121. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG13.112
History: Received May 10, 2017; Revised August 8, 2017; Accepted August 18, 2017

Study designs have numerous advantages and disadvantages that must be considered when addressing a research question, hypothesis, and objective. These include but are not limited to cost, feasibility, and ethical concerns. This review describes common study designs from the dysphagia literature with corresponding relevant examples for each design type. Further, discussion of the main differences between descriptive and analytical, qualitative and quantitative, observational and experimental, and retrospective and prospective study designs is provided. Specific aspects of various study designs, including matching, randomization, and blinding are also discussed. Finally, the importance of working closely with experts, such as epidemiologists and biostatisticians, in the early stages of research to assist with selection of the most appropriate study design and development of the research protocol is strongly recommended.

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