Vol. 18 No 3 | Spring 2016
It was a 1980 UK National Health Service (NHS) circular providing guidance to practitioners offering contraceptive prescribing advice to those under the age of 16 years that outraged Victoria Gillick.
Clinical research is a crucial partner to best clinical practice. It can include the study of disease prevention and causation, diagnostic tests, new or different treatments, and the prognosis and outcomes of different conditions. Clinical trials are a specific form of research designed to find out the effects of an intervention, where the intervention may be a drug, a surgical or diagnostic procedure or a device. When deciding if a treatment or intervention is beneficial or otherwise (whether it improves outcomes), appropriate testing of the intervention will often involve a clinical trial, in a randomised or cohort type of methodology.