This is a great blog post by Dave Walton on the PIRL website, short for Pain and Quality of Life Integrative Research Lab.
Dave is a physio and an associate professor with the School of Physical Therapy at Western University, Canada. In this post he talks about the limitations of clinical trials and gives a pretty good explanation I felt.
Again this helps with our critical appraisal skills, as we better understand what clinical trials can and cannot tell us as the post is titled. We need to recognise that truly research involving humans are never straightforward, there are just so many variables that it is impossible to control for.
The idea of N-1 studies is a tricky topic and I don’t foresee that we can come up with a clear conclusion on it. But as Dave mentions, perhaps we should give it more credibility as a way forward, that through these studies we may be able to have large collection of such studies and that in this way it may better inform us as clinicians.
It’s definitely worth a read so please check it out. Click here to read Dave’s post on this interesting topic.