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CHAPTER OBJECTIVES

  • Define basic, applied, clinical, and translational research

  • Understand the principles of scientific inquiry

  • Describe the steps in scientific research and evidence-based practice

  • Discuss the scientific basis of professional education

KEY TERMINOLOGY

  • Abstract

  • Analytical research

  • Applied research

  • Basic research

  • Biomedical research

  • Clinical research

  • Comparative effectiveness research

  • Descriptive research

  • Development

  • Discussion section

  • Empiricism

  • Ethics

  • Evidence-based medicine

  • Hypothesis

  • Implementation science

  • Introduction section

  • Journal article

  • Method section

  • Objectivity

  • Patient-centered outcomes research

  • Pharmaceutical practice and policy research

  • Positivism

  • Poster

  • Practice-based research network

  • Primary methods

  • Quality

  • Research

  • Research and development

  • Research design

  • Research methodology

  • Research report

  • Results section

  • Secondary methods

  • Theory

  • Translational research

INTRODUCTION

Pharmacists are a vital component of healthcare delivery and biomedical systems. Medications and clinical services are integral to the myriad roles pharmacists play in the healthcare system. Pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) is instrumental in the discovery of new medications and pharmaceutical formulations. There are more than 10,000 prescription products and 300,000 over-the-counter products in the marketplace.1 This is mainly attributed to R&D in basic sciences like biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology, and applied sciences like pharmacology, pharmaceutics, and pharmacotherapy. During the past few decades, there has been significant growth of clinical pharmacy services to meet the complexities of delivering pharmaceutical care in diverse healthcare settings. Pharmacists provide a broad range of outpatient services, such as medication therapy management, immunizations, and health screenings, and inpatient services range from nutrition to therapeutic drug monitoring in institutional settings. High quality research is vital to develop new medications and clinical services; it also provides the knowledge base to effectively use these products and services.

Pharmacists have an important role in creating and applying scientific evidence. Although pharmacists are mostly consumers of research information, they contribute immensely to the growing scientific knowledge base relevant to the pharmacy profession. Pharmacists involved in research make a vital difference by providing evidence that others can use. This knowledge is also important in academia to train the next generation of pharmacists. In recent years, practice-based innovations have created new models in delivering pharmaceutical care. With increasing role of evidence-based paradigms, there is a greater need to critically apply and evaluate research for pharmaceutical practice and policy. Both creating and applying research evidence require an understanding of the principles of research design. This chapter defines biomedical research and evolving clinical research paradigms relevant to the pharmacy profession. It discusses the principles of research design and steps involved in scientific research inquiry. Finally, the concept of evidence-based medicine (EBM) is introduced to effectively translate scientific evidence to patient care.

BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH

Pharmaceuticals and pharmacists are vital for healthcare delivery. Research drives the increasing role of pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical services in disease state management. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has defined research as “systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied.”2 Biomedical research...

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