Know the Science: How To Make Sense of a Scientific Journal Article
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Design of the Study
In a controlled clinical trial, researchers compare the effects of different treatments in groups of study participants who are as identical as possible in all other respects. Participants are assigned to either a “control group” or an “experimental group.”
Controlled clinical trial—results from the experimental group, who receives an experimental treatment or care, are compared with the results of the control group, who receives standard care or an inactive substance.
Double-blind, controlled study—the experimental group receives the treatment being studied and the control group receives standard care or an inactive substance. Neither the participants nor the researchers know who is in the experimental or the control group.