There are several categories of medical research: Basic Science, Epidemiological Population-based Research, and Clinical Research. The label âBasic Scienceâ refers to research that seeks to understand the biological under-pinningâs of disorders. âEpidemiological Researchâ helps us to understand the incidence and prevalence of a disorder in the population at large or how disorders interact with communities.
Finally, âClinical Researchâ refers to the study of patients in a clinical setting (i.e., in the hospital or a health clinic) and may include clinical trials of treatments to improve the condition.
The scientific approach to understanding FM has involved all three approaches to medical research. In each case, a researcher has raised a question, formed a hypothesis, and tested that hypothesis either in the laboratory, in a sample of people with FM, or in the population at large. Once a study is completed, researchers typically write a paper about the study which is sent to a scientific medical journal where it is read and reviewed by other scientists.
This review is called âpeer-review.â Credible science will always need to experience âpeer-reviewâ before being published. If the paper is judged worthy of publication, it then appears in the journal, thereby making the information available to clinicians who may then apply new ideas to their clinical decision-making. In this way, our understanding of fibromyalgia and the effective means of treatment improves.
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