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Table 2

Levels of Medical Evidence for Therapeutic Studya

LevelTherapeutic Study—Investigating the Effectiveness of Treatment
  • 1.
    Well-designed randomized controlled trial with appropriate statistical analysis/reporting
    • a.
      No major limitations
    • b.
      No more than 1 minor limitation
  • 2.
    Systematic review of well-designed randomized controlled trials with consistent findings
  • 1.
    Prospective comparative study
  • 2.
    Systematic review of Level II studies or review of Level I studies with inconsistent findings
  • 1.
    Case-control studies
  • 2.
    Retrospective comparative studies
  • 3.
    Systematic review of Level III studies
  • 1.
    Case series
  • 1.
    Expert opinion
aData from Kaiser et al.13