Clinical research in ophthalmology has increasingly shifted from isolated case reports and retrospective analyses of case series to randomized prospective trials and cross-sectional population-based studies of eye disease, enabling investigators to draw broadly applicable inferences about treatment, disease prevalence, and risk factors. Because clinical trials and population-based studies consume considerable scarce research resources in terms of research funds, personnel, and space, they are appropriately employed only to answer questions of major interest that cannot be answered through other means. In proper circumstances, the implementation of recommendations resulting from multicenter trials can generate positive economic and clinical outcomes.1,2
See also p 1085.
Study of the outcomes and effectiveness of medical care (so-called outcomes research) based on insurance databases and similar secondary sources shows promise for studying issues not practically addressed by clinical trials and population-based studies. At comparatively lower cost and research resource consumption, outcomes research can provide an overview
Javitt JC. Outcomes of Eye Care From Medicare Data. Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(8):1079-1080. doi:10.1001/archopht.1991.01080080039023