How to spot bias and other potential problems in randomised controlled trials

ovarianRisk of ovarian cancer ‘extremely small’ during Hormone Replacement Therapy, according to experts | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis.

The above study and recent news was on account of a study that was a randomised controlled trial. Read for complete news and act with sanity and alert mind, always.

Generalisability and interpretation

The result of an RCT is only applicable to day to day practice if the patients included in the trial were similar to those who would be treated in practice. Thus if a treatment has only been tested in men aged under 65, it is generally impossible to know whether it will benefit a 95 year old woman. On balance, trials with broad inclusion criteria are more generalisable than those with strict criteria. By examining the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and the baseline data, clinicians should consider whether the trial sample is reasonably representative of the people they wish to treat.40 However, more emphasis should be placed on the overall outcome of the trial than on the results for one particular subgroup within the trial.

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