Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2920


On chance distribution


Randomization is a technique of assigning patients to treatment and control groups in  experimental studies that is based only on chance distribution. It is used to diminish confounding in clinical trials. Proper randomization of patients is an indifferent yet objective technique that tends to neutralize patient prognostic factors by spreading them evenly among treatment and control groups. Randomized assignment is often based on computer‐generated tables of random numbers.

Randomization is the process of making something random. In biostatistical theory of design of experiments, it is a core principle that involves random allocation of the experimental units across the treatment groups. Thus, if the experiment compares a new drug against a standard drug used as a control, the patients should be allocated to new drug or control by a random process . This ensures that the different treatment groups are statistically equivalent,...

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© Springer-Verlag 2008