Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
How to Read a Research Article
Research articles are typically structured in a standardized format (IMRaD):
- Introduction -- Rationale for conducting the study; Articulates the research question; Presents literature review of similar studies.
- Methods -- Who were the research participants? What kind of data collection was used? How was the study conducted?
- Results -- Detailed findings, typically with charts and graphs.
- Discussion -- What are the practical implications of the study? What are the limitations of the study? What are the recommended future studies?
Questions to Ask to Evaluate a Study
Three basic questions for every type of study:
- Are the results of the study valid?
- Was the sample of patients representative?
- Were patients randomized?
- To what extent was the study blinded?
- Aside from the experimental intervention, were groups treated equally?
- Was follow-up complete?
- What are the results?
- How large was the treatment effect?
- How precise was the treatment effect?
- Will the results help in caring for my patient?
- Were the study patients similar to my patient?
- Are the likely benefits worth the potential harms and costs?
PDF Document with more questions to consider: https://sites.duke.edu/ebmworkshop/files/2012/06/all_worksheets.pdf