In examining the level of evidence, there is a hierarchical structure in place. This hierarchical structure is such that the highest level of evidence can be arrived at through the utility of randomized control trial (RCT). At the second level are Quasi-experiments whereby there is no random assignment of participants to treatment groups, however, treatment and the causal relationship is determined utilizing the same standards as RCTs (Penrod & Morrison, 2004). This is followed by case control studies, case series studies and expert opinion (Slade, Kuipers, & Priebe, 2002).
An examination of the implications of the research methodology utilized begs a closer look at RCTs and the Phenomenological approach to research. First and foremost, randomized control trials are defined as study designs where treatments, interventions, or enrollment into different study groups are assigned by random allocation rather than by conscious decisions of clinicians or patients. The goal of RCTs is to ensure that the results obtained from a study are strictly based on the treatment administered and not a direct result of bias or other confounding variables (Philadelphia Panel, 2001). ...Show more