"You decide doctor". What do patient preference arms in clinical trials really mean?

Bowling, Ann and Rowe, Gene (2005) "You decide doctor". What do patient preference arms in clinical trials really mean? Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 59, (11), 914 - 915. (doi:10.1136/jech.2005.035261). (PMID:16234414).


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It is well established that random assignment between experimental treatment and control arms is the gold standard in clinical trials to minimise differences between the groups being compared and safeguard against bias. There is, however, a fear that such random allocation may not accord with patients' preferences for the intervention or treatment, thereby compromising trial validity. It is possible that patients may resent not receiving their treatment of choice, and their negative attitude may lead to non-adherence to treatment or affect outcomes in some other way. Consequently, one option for trial designers is to include patient preference arms, whereby patients with no treatment preference are randomly allocated to experimental and control arms, while patients expressing a treatment preference are allocated to receive their preferred treatment.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1136/jech.2005.035261
ISSNs: 0143-005X (print)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions : Faculty of Health Sciences
ePrint ID: 334604
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
November 2005Published
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2012 15:20
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:24
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/334604

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