Definitions for randomized controlled trial

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  1. Randomized controlled trial

    A randomized controlled trial is a specific type of scientific experiment, and the gold standard for a clinical trial. RCT are often used to test the efficacy and/or effectiveness of various types of medical intervention within a patient population. RCT may also provide an opportunity to gather useful information about adverse effects, such as drug reactions. The key distinguishing feature of the usual RCT is that study subjects, after assessment of eligibility and recruitment, but before the intervention to be studied begins, are randomly allocated to receive one or other of the alternative treatments under study. Random allocation in real trials is complex, but conceptually, the process is like tossing a coin. After randomization, the two groups of subjects are followed in exactly the same way, and the only differences between the care they receive, for example, in terms of procedures, tests, outpatient visits, follow-up calls etc. should be those intrinsic to the treatments being compared. The most important advantage of proper randomization is that it minimizes allocation bias, balancing both known and unknown prognostic factors, in the assignment of treatments."

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Randomized Controlled Trial

    Work consisting of a clinical trial that involves at least one test treatment and one control treatment, concurrent enrollment and follow-up of the test- and control-treated groups, and in which the treatments to be administered are selected by a random process, such as the use of a random-numbers table.

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