How to critically inspect a study report?

When it comes to studies, there is no one size fits all – minimum sample size, ideal methodology or best biomarker. The importance of different aspects of a study will vary depending on the ingredient, the health benefits, the population being studied, and the goals of the study.

Annegret Nielsen, Senior Consultant at Analyze and Realize, points out that the way a study is conducted and reported will vary depending on the objective, ie. whether the evidence is in support of a health claim or whether it is carried out to support marketing communications.

However, she points out that the gold standard is always a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, and that for foods and dietary supplements, studies should be conducted in a healthy population to enable a health claim to be made.

Where do I begin to criticize a work?

Everyone has a different format they follow when reading a research paper – many read the abstract first, while others go straight to the methodology and conclusion, and still others go straight to the authors’ background. There is no “right” or “wrong” as long as the reader critically analyzes the design and results, rather than simply accepting the conclusions as fact.

Miguel Toribio-Mateas, research and design specialist and clinical neuroscientist, explains that the summary can be poorly written, doing the work a disservice. Therefore, it is important to read the abstract before making a decision about the study.

“My neurodivergent brain likes to take in an article from multiple angles at once. I’d like to know who the authors are… and I’m going in and out of the methods section to find out how the researchers went about collecting the data.

Read  How to assess clinical response in multiple myeloma

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button