RES500 Research Methods for the Health Sciences
Module 2 – Case

Study Designs

Case Assignment
Health science researchers have long believed the randomized controlled trial (RCT) to be the “gold standard” of study designs. There are many reasons for their contention that an RCT should be preferred to any of the observational study designs. However, there are also instances in which employment of this design would be inappropriate.
In a four-page paper, discuss the merits of the RCT as a study design with regard to:
1.    Internal validity
2.    Confounding
3.    Feasibility/appropriateness
4.    External validity
Assignment Expectations
1.    You are expected to consult the scholarly literature in preparing your paper; you are also expected to incorporate relevant background readings.
2.    Your paper should be written in your own words. This will enable me to assess your level of understanding.
3.    In order to earn full credit, you must clearly show that you have read all required background materials.
4.    Cite your references in the text of all papers and on the reference list at the end. For examples, look at the way the references are listed in the modules and on the background reading list.
5.    Proofread your paper to be sure grammar and punctuation are correct and that each part of the assignment has been addressed clearly and completely.
6.    Your assignment will not be graded until you have submitted an Originality Report with a Similarity Index (SI) score <20% (excluding direct quotes, quoted assignment instructions, and references). Papers not meeting this requirement by the end of the session will receive a score of 0 (grade of F). Do keep in mind that papers with a lower SI score may be returned for revisions. For example, if one paragraph accounting for only 10% of a paper is cut and pasted, the paper could be returned for revision, despite the low SI score.  Please use the report and your SI score as a guide to improve the originality of your work.
Length: 4 pages typed, double-spaced.
Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable source of information.
Module 2 – Background

Study Designs

Required Reading
Available via the Internet:
Jepsen, P., Johnsen, S. P., Gillman, M. W., & Sorensen, H. T. (2004). Interpretation of observational studies. Heart, 90,956-960. Retrieved from
Martin, G. (2013, October 28). Research Methods – Introduction. Retrieved from
Martin, G. (2013, November 3). Cohort and Case Control Studies. Retrieved from
Martin, G. (2013, November 10). Randomized Control Trials and Confounding. Retrieved from
Pannucci, C. J., & Wilkins, E. G. (2010). Identifying and avoiding bias in research. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 126(2), 619–625. Retrieved from
The Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library. (2011, November). Study Design 101. Retrieved from
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