There is one simple and very straight forward way to answer : what makes studies so important?
It allows us to identify a problem and hypotheses on the causes.
Not only can we identify a problem, we are then placing it on paper, for others to read anywhere around the globe. These measures may help to prevent tragic events from reoccurring, or from losing another life to such and such disease.
Who are the researchers?
They are the masters of the «why». Scientists turn to research with a very noble cause, one that is much greater than themselves. They become a form of specialized-walking-encyclopaedia (which is why some of them seem to get caught in more than a few one-way conversations). Frankly, we are so fortunate to have many collaborations between science, art and technology which allows for enriching sites such as Ted-Ed, Skillshare and others.
Why can’t I understand what they write about?
Still at this very moment there seems to be a brick wall between the public and the laboratories. It’s almost another language.
Knowledge is passed along so quickly, that every generation’s learning pathway is different through the same subjects. There is a specialty within specialties.
What is a study design?
An almost ideal study design consists of the same sex, similar fitness levels, targeting the proper age group, with a large amount of people that are randomly categorized, making use of a placebo treatment where researchers and subjects are blinded as to who is receiving treatment and who isn’t, conducted at the same moment all around the globe, using the identical instruments and environments over many years. They are also known as randomized controlled trials.
Many other types exist : meta-analysis, cohort, cross-sectional, systematic reviews, case reports.
Equestrian-related studies are usually cross-sectional which is an observation of a smaller group who have a similarity that represents what we want to investigate at that given time.
Basically, the quality of a study’s design is key to making quality conclusions.
Hope this helps,
Ariel and SweetPea