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Research Guides@Tufts

Study Designs in the Health Sciences

An introduction to the main features and uses of study designs popular and unique to medicine and the health sciences.


This guide was created to introduce you to the following study designs frequently used in the health sciences:

  • Case-Control
  • Clinical Trials
  • Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)
  • Cohort
  • Systematic reviews/Meta-Analysis

Each tab in this guide describes a particular study design and will include a definition of the design, why it is used, ts format and features, and an example.

How to Read and Understand the Literature


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Amy LaVertu
Hirsh Health Sciences Library
Tufts University
145 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111

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