Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research Stanford University


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Are Certain Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial Structures Misleading Clinical and Policy Decisions?

Journal Article

HC Kraemer
Thomas N. Robinson - Stanford University

Published by
Contemporary Clinical Trials, Vol. 26 no. 5, page(s) 518-529

Multicenter studies involving randomized clinical trials (RCTs) may have different structures. We discuss four general types. The first two, an "ideal" multicenter RCT and decentralized multicenter collaborative RCTs, we feel are, in different circumstances, highly recommended approaches. The other two, the multicenter RCT that ignores site differences and centralized multicenter collaborative RCTs, we argue, are not only not cost-effective but may also produce misleading results, thus impeding scientific progress and possibly putting patients at unnecessary risk.