Since the late 1990s, the trend dictates that any medical procedure, either for preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, prognostic or rehabilitating purposes, should be defined based on its level of scientific evidence — so called evidence-based medicine. In the medical arena, statistics plays a predominant role as a subfield of medical specialization, in particular in the branches of epidemiology and clinical trials.
Clinical trials are research studies that prove the effect of new clinical approaches in humans. The investigator inputs and controls variables, and patients are randomly assigned to the different treatments being compared. Clinical trials attempt to answer scientific questions and search for the best practices in order to prevent, explore, diagnose or treat a disease or condition. Often, clinical trials compare and contrast new treatments against other already cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (or any other relevant agency, based on the geographical location) and available in the market. Each clinical trial is ruled by a particular protocol or action plan, and statistics is a core component of data analysis and testing. It is not part of the hypothesis, as it is usually mistakenly believed, since hypotheses are elaborated by the investigator based on his or her findings.
As a research method itself, the clinical trial should reflect the steps shown in Figure 1, and translators should be able to understand and identify each link of this chain to proactively spot the terminological focus germane to each step, and plan for research and documentation efficiently, and in advance. . .