Epidemiology In The News: Randomized TrialsEpidemiology in the News: Randomized Trials According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), asthma is a leading chronic illness in children ages 5 to 17, a leading cause of school absenteeism, and the third highest cause of hospitalizations in children younger than 15 (2011). The costs associated with treating this chronic illness are high. A number of randomized control trials have examined the effect of instituting a home management program for treating asthma in combination with pharmaceuticals. These studies found that, by implementing a structured home management program, the morbidity, severity, and frequency of asthmatic episodes were reduced (Agrawl, Singh, Mathew, & Malhi, 2005). Recent research is also exploring how and when to cut back on levels of medication as asthma episodes become controlled, further reducing the cost of this chronic illness; however, controversy remains over the long-term effects of reducing levels of medication due to the disparateness of asthma (Rogers & Reiberman, 2012). For this Discussion, you are asked to identify an example of an experimental study design in the popular literature and consider the ethical implications of the randomized control trial design. To prepare:
- Search the Internet and credible websites to locate a news piece or article that features a randomized trial study design. The article should be from a widely distributed news source, accessible to and written for a lay audience. Possible sources include, but are not limited to, online magazines, online newspapers, and health news websites. Be sure to include a link to the article in your posting. You may not select an article already posted by one of your colleagues for this Discussion.
- Critically analyze the following aspects of the research study:
- Study population
- Length of the trial
- Data collection methods
- Outcome measures
- Results and conclusions
- Ethical issues associated with the study
- Ask yourself: How did this research study benefit from its randomized design? What was discovered by randomization that might not otherwise have been demonstrated?
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