Clinical research methods for studies of older people

Date Published:
16 April 2019
Last updated: 
16 April 2019

Clinical research methods for studies of older people. An online themed collection of  Age and Ageing journal articles. Curated by Miriam Thake, Miles Witham and David J Stott

For this online research methodologies collection we have selected key Age and Ageing publications aimed at improving the quality of clinical research for older people. Older people remain under-represented in clinical research, particularly those who have multi-morbidity, frailty or dementia, or who live in residential or nursing care. This collection is designed to act as a guide for researchers and authors to improve quality, maximise the value and impact of their work and reduce research waste. We hope the collection will also act as a guide for readers of studies relating to older people, to enhance understanding of published work and aid translation of new evidence into clinical practice.

The articles chosen highlight specific issues to consider when conducting and reporting studies of older people. These include how to describe the participants to allow readers to ascertain whether the characteristics are representative of target populations. The collection covers a wide range of research methods used in articles accepted by Age and Ageing, such as cohort studies, randomised control trials and systematic reviews. More recently, Age and Ageing has extended its range to encourage submission of diagnostic test accuracy studies, qualitative research and quality improvement. The collection aims to give an overview of these research methodologies, highlighting the specific issues to be considered when designing or reporting clinical studies of older people. The collection should be used alongside other online resources such as the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) Network (, on which can be found important guidelines such as the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statements and checklists.

We hope that the collection will provide readers with a helpful overview of the current best practices for research of older people as well as highlighting important methodological developments that are helping to improve the quality of clinical research.

Collection collated by Miriam Thake (Great Western Hospital, Swindon, UK), Miles Witham (University of Newcastle, UK), David J Stott (University of Glasgow, UK).

  1. Describing the participants in a studyR. M. Pickering
  2. Review of methodologies of cohort studies of older peopleAndrew Kingston, Carol Jagger
  3. Conducting and reporting trials for older peopleMiles D Witham, David J Stott
  4. Improving recruitment of older people to clinical trials: use of the cohort multiple randomised controlled trial designAndrew Clegg, Clare Relton, John Young, Miles Witham
  5. Review of Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA) studies in older peopleYemisi Takwoingi, Terence J Quinn
  6. How to present statistics in Medical JournalsE. Cheek, C. Rajkumar
  7. Using quality assessment tools to critically appraise ageing research: a guide for cliniciansJennifer Kirsty Harrison, James Reid, Terry J Quinn, Susan Deborah Shenkin
  8. Systematic reviews: guidance relevant for studies of older peopleSusan D. Shenkin, Jennifer K. Harrison, Tim Wilkinson, Richard M. Dodds, John P. A. Ioannidis
  9. Qualitative Research in Age and Ageing: Enhancing Understanding of Ageing, Health and IllnessMary Godfrey
  10. Age and Ageing to introduce a new category of paper: healthcare improvement scienceS G Parker, T Downes, M Godfrey, R Matthews, F C Martin


Browse the full library of themed collections on the Age and Ageing website.

Feedback on this resource?

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.