Pilot Studies

A pilot study is a research study that tests the feasibility of an approach that will later be used in a larger study. Pilot studies are conducted in quantitative and qualitative research. They can be extremely useful in providing justification or testing procedures for a larger future study. Pilot studies can benefit researchers by providing a “dress rehearsal” that saves time and avoids problems in the later study.

Pilot studies are not intended to test the hypothesis or research question for the larger study. Rather, pilot studies are meant to assess feasibility. Assessing the pragmatics of recruitment efforts, research instruments, randomization and data collection procedures, training sessions for staff, collaborative efforts, and intervention implementations are reasons why a pilot study is conducted. For example, a researcher ...

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