Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch

Randomized Clinical Trials

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2921

Synonyms

Clinical studies

Definition

In a Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT), a group of patients is randomized into an experimental group and a control group. These groups are followed up for the variables or outcomes of interest. A RCT is, after  meta-analysis, the highest form of evidence. Advantages are the unbiased distribution of confounders and the randomization, which facilitates statistical analysis. Disadvantages are the time, expense, and ethical problems in indications with an established therapy standard different from placebo.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008