Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are rightfully valued as the primary source of research data that drives changes in practice and directs evidence-based care. However, the time and associated costs of initiating a trial and completing patient accrual and follow-up are important limitations. Among 28 phase 3 studies funded by the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health, the total costs were more than $335 million, with a mean of approximately $12 million and a range from approximately $1 million to $64 million.1 By comparison, data from administrative claims, clinical registries, and electronic health records are readily available, cost-effective, and efficient for conducting observational research. These favorable features make observational data powerful tools that, when used properly, could potentially increase the rate at which scientific evidence is incorporated into contemporaneous clinical practice.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Massarweh NN, Chang GJ. Translating Research Findings Into Practice—The Unfulfilled and Unclear Mission of Observational Data. JAMA Surg. 2019;154(2):103–104. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.3118
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: