Randomnized Controlled Trials | cyriax.eu

Randomnized Controlled Trials

A mini guide for the reader to interpret the quality of studies

Many studies are published, evidence based therapy is on the move, but...we may not forget to focus on some important issues :

  • Is the published work intrinsic correct (e.g. are therapeutic protocols carried out in a correct way ?) and/or relevant (e.g. do the results have a real implication) ?
  • Do studies have clinical relevance for the field therapist, or is it merely a demonstration of "lab science"?
  • The most important question : does the published work inspire us to adapt and improve our clinical reasoning and therapeutic acting in daily practice ; in other words, are we going to change something in our thinking and acting, resulting in a change in our diagnostic and therapeutic protocol ?

 Or...is the published work merely (unfortunately) a demonstration of "research for the sake of research" or, "science for the sake of scientist" ?

 The information below will help you to distinguish good studies from less relevant studies.

 Did the authors take into account following basic principles :

 Study structure

  •  Title
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgement
  • Sponsors
  • Literature review
  • Keywords


  • Is the hypothesis and the purpose of the study clearly described ?
  • Is this purpose clinically relevant and/or useful in daily clinical practice ?


  • Are the results of the study valid ; can they be trusted ?
  • Do the authors clearly describe which persons are included and excluded in this study ; is there a clear description of inclusion and exclusion criteria ? A clear description of all procedures used ? Are therapeutic procedures carried out in a correct way ; are they easily reproducible ?
  • Are the test subjects divided in groups at random ?
  • Are the researchers, therapists and test subjects blinded ?
  • Are there less than 15% drop-outs ?
  • Is there a good statistical interpretation of the data ; did they use a p-value which is set sharp enough ?
  • Did the authors calculate a standard deviation value for at least one of the results ?
  • Is there a follow up and is the period inbetween long enough ?
  • Is it possible to recreate or optimize this study on the basis of all data described in this article ?


  • Are the results interpreted with adequate statistical interpretations ? (This is of course very difficult to interpret as a reader ; mostly we just have to rely on the work of the statistical expert ; so, let's be cautious in jumping to conclusions too fast).
  • The "probability-question" : are the results due to coincidence or not ? A p value < 0.05 is considered significant, but a value < 0.01 or even < 0.001 is very significant.



  • Did the authors mention some chance of errors or points of optimalisation of the study ?
  • Do the authors discuss the results of the study in relation to those suggestions ?
  • Do the authors reach a conclusion that has clinical consequences for the therapist and that benefits the patients ?

(many thanks to F.M. Koller and C. Beyerlein who organized literature evenings for therapists in Germany and for their contribution to this section ; they inspired me)

We wish to respect your privacy at all times

General Data Protection Regulation - European Privacy Regulation

How do we collect your personal data such as name and email address ?

When you are an ETGOM course participant automatically you enter the ETGOM newsletter
When you send us an email with an information request regarding the ETGOM seminars or publications
When you participate at an ETGOM webinar
When you download the free ebook
When we meet in person (e.g. conference)
Or when you register on our “Tips and Tricks in orthopaedic medicine” newsletter

How do we use your personal data

Your data are exclusively used by the ETGOM Teaching Team and organisation partners to inform you about ETGOM activities and publications
Your data will not be transferred to any third party which is not related to orthopaedic medicine continuing education

Your rights

You have the right at all times to view, to update or to delete your personal data
You can unsubscribe from our newsletters, mailing list, at any time
You can refuse or limit the use of your personal data
You can visit the website of OM Consult bvba/ETGOM unrestricted and furthermore consult information about our company, products and services without giving any personal data of you. Only if you want to contact us via the web form, you have to share you personal data. Each time you provide personal information, OM Consult bvba will handle them in accordance with the policy written down in here and the legal liabilities concerning the handling of personal data.

Confidential handling of personal data 
The personal data collected by OM Consult bvba/ETGOM, are saved on a protected place, which is not open for the public. The file can only be consulted by a restricted number of persons who are in service of OM Consult bvba/ETGOM and only if they need this information for practice there job. The data will only be processed for internal purposes. Om Consult bvba ordinarily doesn’t give any personal data to third persons, except to comply with legal liabilities and in case of an express request from the judicial authority or police. In the exceptional case that OM Consult bvba/ETGOM gives information to organizations or companies with which they work together, it will be expressly mentioned or you will be expressly asked for your agreement.

Purpose of handling 
OM Consult bvba/ETGOM handles the collected personal data to identify you and if necessary to contact you and to give you an optimal service. The data can also be used to give you information about news items, new services and new products of OM Consult bvba/ETGOM. If you don’t want to receive such information, you can mention this to OM Consult bvba/ETGOM by e-mail ( info@cyriax.eu) or by letter.