The RCT means nothing to me!

Chris Littlewood*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Research is a cornerstone of evidence based practice with the randomised controlled trial (RCT) regarded as the 'gold standard' for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. However, it is not uncommon for RCT's to arrive at conflicting conclusions. This conflict might be explained by the quality of the different studies and their inherent risk of bias. Despite this, discussion and debate around methodological issues is limited in physiotherapy specific journals. It is important that clinicians are aware of the inherent risk of bias within studies and what this means for their practice. Hence, this paper presents a clinically focused methodological discussion with the intention of offering a platform upon which readers can develop their understanding of meaningful critical appraisal and hence gain confidence when reading and appraising published RCT's.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-617
Number of pages4
JournalManual Therapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Continuing professional development
  • Evidence based practice
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Research methodology


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