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Large-scale randomized evidence: Trials and meta-analyses of trials 

Large-scale randomized evidence: Trials and meta-analyses of trials
Chapter:
Large-scale randomized evidence: Trials and meta-analyses of trials
Author(s):

Colin Baigent

, Richard Peto

, Richard Gray

, Natalie Staplin

, Sarah Parish

, and Rory Collins

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0010
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date: 02 March 2021

Clinical trials generally need to be able to detect or to refute realistically moderate (but still worthwhile) differences between treatments in long-term disease outcome. Large-scale randomized evidence should be able to detect such effects, but medium-sized trials or medium-sized meta-analyses can, and often do, yield false-negative or exaggeratedly positive results. Hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year could be avoided by seeking appropriately large-scale randomized evidence about various widely practicable treatments for the common causes of death, and by disseminating this evidence appropriately. This chapter takes a look at the use of large-scale randomized evidence—produced from trials and meta-analysis of trials—and how this data should be handled in order to produce accurate result.

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