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Program introduction

Medical training equips one to provide care, but not to do research. Clinical research – research with patients – is not easy. Researchers who fail to appreciate the principles of bias, confounding, reverse causality and random error produce unreliable results. Unreliable research cannot be used to improve health care and so is wasteful and unethical.

This is the first in a series of five articles on how to do good quality clinical research. This series aims to: promote good research that gives reliable answers to clinical questions; help people who are new to research to get started (at any stage of their career); and, provide teaching materials for experienced researchers. We hope that this series will identify the pitfalls in the design, conduct and analysis of bedside clinical research that can so easily diminish the quality of - and the likelihood of benefit to future patients - of your work.

Part 1: How to do high-quality clinical research - first steps
Part 2: Clinical stroke research in resource limited settings - tips and hints
Part 3: How to do a systematic review
Part 4: Design and implementation of observational studies to measure disease burden with a focus on stroke
Part 5: How to do health services research in stroke: A focus on performance measurement and quality improvement
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