What types of health research are there?

There are many different types of health research studies, including:

behavioral studies

These are studies that test how people act in different ways. Learn more about What is social and behavioral research? [PDF]

clinical trials

These are studies of a drug, surgery, or medical device in healthy volunteers or people who have a specific disease. Learn more.

community-based participatory research (CBPR)

This is research that engages community partners as equal participants in the research.

genetic studies

These are studies to find the role of genes in different diseases. Learn more about What is genetic research? [PDF]

observational studies

These are studies in which a group of people is observed for many years.

physiological studies

These are studies to better understand how the human body functions.

prevention studies

These are studies that test ways to prevent specific conditions or diseases.

public health research

This type of research can be one or a combination of the types of research mentioned above. Public health research tries to improve the health and well-being of people from a population-level perspective. Learn more about the differences between public health and medicine.

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The Nurses' Health Study (NHS) is an example of an observational study. It began in 1976, when 122,000 nurses got the letter above and mailed back a reply form that came with it (learn more).