There are two types of research in nursing. Pilot studies are usually minor experiments that are aimed at proving different hypotheses. RCT (randomized controlled trial) is used for making various tests and analyzing the acquired results at the end. The following paper is intended to discuss some advantages of a pilot study over RCT.
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Advantages of a Pilot Study
The first advantage of a pilot study is the fact that all the hypotheses, which are supposed to be tested, have to be checked beforehand. Therefore, the results of such research are usually more accurate than the conclusions of regular studies (Abbott, 2014). Another benefit of the pilot study is the freedom that it gives to a scholar. Many people might develop new ideas and reconsider their views on particular elements during the study and record these findings in the final report.
Moreover, scholars are able to perform pilot studies without extra financial support. It appears that RCT requires more time and investments than the method mentioned previously. As stated by Abbott (2014), “feasibility studies are used to help develop trial interventions or outcome measures, whereas pilot studies replicate, in miniature, a planned full-size RCT” (p. 555). In addition, researchers are allowed to use different methods to gain the expected results when conducting a pilot study, which needs to be avoided in other types of experiments.
Pilot studies have much more advantages than randomized controlled trials. Nevertheless, the latter method is considered to be more reliable and credible as another type is usually implemented to test particular hypotheses for the first time. Many scientists prefer pilot studies as they are less expensive and continuous than RCT research.
Abbott, J. H. (2014). The distinction between randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and preliminary feasibility and pilot studies: What they are and are not. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 44(8), 555-558. Web.