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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Wanda J Gordon-Evans, DVM, PhD (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This book, designed to aid in constructing clinical experiments, outlines the methodologies used to design different types of clinical research experiments and discusses common errors. Review questions are offered at the end of each chapter.
Purpose: The purpose is to arm those hoping to perform clinical research with the tools necessary to design appropriate trials to answer clinical questions. This is a worthy objective as most veterinarians are not trained in how to conduct clinical research. Overall, this book provides an overview of the necessary thought processes for designing clinical trials in a straightforward manner.
Audience: Practitioners who would like to embark on clinical research are the intended readers. In addition, residents in many different specialties would benefit from this book when designing clinical projects.
Features: This book provides an overview of clinical research design including different study designs and the associated evidentiary value, legal and ethical issues, and funding and practical issues. The index and table of contents provide quick reference to portions that might be used frequently, like the calculation of sample size. Although readers may skip the review questions at the end of the chapters, they may help to clear up some areas of confusion. A disadvantage of the book is the oversimplification of some aspects of clinical research. However, a more comprehensive approach may overstep the purpose and create confusion. Although some published research is used, examples of the pros and cons of current research to illustrate points for the authors would increase the clarity.
Assessment: This is useful as an introduction to clinical research and as a quick reference for sample size determination.