Types of research include quantitative research, qualitative research, collaborative research and practitioner research. Some categories of research studies performed in medical research are case-control studies, laboratory-based animal studies and randomized trials.
Quantitative research tests a theory through gathering data that researchers can measure with numbers and analyze with statistical techniques. Qualitative research examines phenomena from a more holistic framework, rather than only looking at measurable data. This type of research takes place in a natural setting, and researchers may perform it in an attempt to understand a societal issue from a variety of standpoints.
Collaborative research combines participants from different circumstances to bring multiple perspectives to the research. An example is a research study performed at a school by faculty members from different disciplines. Faculty members from different fields, such as psychology, economics and biology, can offer very different perspectives on the subject of study.
Practitioner research is research in which the investigator is someone who provides services in the area of study. For example, educators may combine teaching with research by conducting research related to their own teaching practices.
There are pros and cons to the different types of research studies used in health care. Laboratory-based animal studies offer controlled conditions, but the downside is that the subjects of study are not humans. A case-control study compares actual people with a medical condition to those without the condition, but errors may arise due to participants' faulty memories concerning their past behaviors.