Welcome to Study Design 101

This tutorial is designed to give you:

  • An understanding of different types of clinical medical studies and how they relate to each other
  • An overview of important formulas relevant to these study types
  • The ability to locate articles using each of the different study types
  • A glossary of terms related to clinical medical studies

The study designs can be thought of as a pyramid. Case control studies are the first articles published on new topics so they make up the base of the pyramid. As we progress up the pyramid, the studies become more evidence-based and less numerous. Meta-Analyses are at the top of the pyramid because they can only be written after much other research has been done on a topic. There are many fewer of them but they offer very strong evidence.

This tutorial is designed to be read in the order going up the pyramid from the base, but you can jump around according to your needs and interests. There are questions to test yourself about each study type, some helpful formulas related to the study types, a video demonstrating how to find each type of study, and a glossary of relevant terms.

As always, please contact the Reference desk if you have questions or concerns. We are not experts in statistics or clinical research, but we know how to help you get the answers you need!