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.
- Continuing professional development
- Evidence based practice
- Randomised controlled trial
- Research methodology