An exploratory study might also seek to identify key issues rather than to confirm or challenge existing results regarding the treatment effect. For example, it might look at the impact of a new drug in a specific subset of patients who have additional diseases to the main disease of interest, such as diabetic patients with heart disease. On occasions, a study can have both confirmatory and exploratory aspects. For instance, in a confirmatory trial evaluating a specific treatment, the data can also be used to explore further hypotheses, i.e., subgroup effects that have to be confirmed by later research.
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