The Role of Observational Studies in the Surgical AreaDownload PDF
Background: In randomized controlled trials, due to the randomization process the covariates are equally distributed between the groups. For these reason at the end of the study the researcher can assume that the outcomes happens only because of interventions. This strict control of bias leads the randomized controlled trials to become the gold standard in clinical research. However in some cases, like in surgical studies, it is very difficult to run a randomized controlled trial. Observational studies have some strengths and can play an important role in studies of surgical specialties.
Discussion: Observational studies are very commonly used nowadays, once that they are easy to conduct, needs less time and budget than randomized controlled trials. It is also a great design to test new hypothesis that could be developed in future studies. Observational design could be an excellent option to surgical research when randomized controlled trials have an ethical or feasibility issue. Besides the ethical and feasibility issues the research could have a rare outcome that is difficult to assess and measure. To all this issues observational study offers a solution.
Keywords: Observational, study, surgery