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Types of Research

Applied Research seeks the specific knowledge necessary to improve the treatment of a particular disease.

Basic Biomedical Research is conducted to increase understanding of fundamental life processes, such
as discovering the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) — one-half of the genetic code of
life — or investigating the genetics of lipid disease. The AHA funds this type of research.

Basic Research is a synonym for fundamental research, which is the study of life processes that are
universal in their application to scientific knowledge.

Clinical Research addresses important questions of normal function and disease using human subjects.

Directed Research is conducted by an investigator in response to an outside request to explore a specific


scientific area or question. Corporate or foundation donations tagged for research allow the AHA to sponsor
such projects as the ASA-Bugher Foundation Centers for Stroke Prevention Research and the AHA-Jon
Holden DeHaan Foundation Myogenesis Research Centers.

Fundamental Research studies life processes that are universal in their application to scientific knowledge.

Investigator-Initiated Research investigates a question or hypothesis that the researcher has defined. The
AHA's publicly donated dollars are used to support this type of research.

Outcomes Research focuses upon the end results of health care, the tangible and quantifiable
manifestations of disease upon patients and society and the determinants of these outcomes.

Population Health Research is the science and art of studying the distribution and determinants of health
status as influenced by social, economic and physical environments, human biology, health policy and
services and of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health at the population levels.

Strategically Focused Research focuses on science areas that the association has determined are
important to achieving its mission and strategic objectives.

Targeted Research is a synonym for directed research.

Translational Research takes a result from basic or fundamental science and studies its applicability in the
clinical or human situation. Another type of translational research addresses the adoption of prevention and
treatment strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective through clinical research in the care of
patients and in population-based prevention of conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Action research is a methodology that combines action and research to examine specific questions, issues or phenomena
through observation and reflection, and deliberate intervention to improve practice.

Applied research is research undertaken to solve practical problems rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge sake.

Basic research is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge without looking for long-term
benefits other than the advancement of knowledge.

Clinical trials are research studies undertaken to determine better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose or treat diseases.

Epidemiological research is concerned with the description of health and welfare in populations through the collection of
data related to health and the frequency, distribution and determinants of disease in populations, with the aim of improving
health.

Evaluation research is research conducted to measure the effectiveness or performance of a program, concept or campaign
in achieving its objectives.

Literature review is a critical examination, summarisation, interpretation or evaluation of existing literature in order to
establish current knowledge on a subject.

Qualitative research is research undertaken to gain insights concerning attitudes, beliefs, motivations and behaviours of
individuals to explore a social or human problem and include methods such as focus groups, in-depth interviews,
observation research and case studies.

Quantitative research is research concerned with the measurement of attitudes, behaviours and perceptions and includes
interviewing methods such as telephone, intercept and door-to-door interviews as well as self-completion methods such as
mail outs and online surveys.

Service or program monitoring and evaluation involves collecting and analysing a range of processes and outcome data
in order to assess the performance of a service or program and to determine if the intended or expected results have been
achieved.