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Pilot Study


Updated January 07, 2008

Definition: A smaller version of a larger study that is conducted to prepare for that study. A pilot study can involve pretesting a research tool, like a new data collection method. It can also be used to test an idea or hypothesis. Pilot studies can also be used in clinical trials, in order to test different doses, routes of administration, dosing schedules and possible barriers to adherence before a large-scale multicenter drug study is launched.

Pilot studies are used as feasibility studies, to ensure that the ideas or methods behind a research idea are sound, as well as to “work out the kinks” in a study protocol before launching a larger study.

Also Known As: feasibility study
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