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Randomisation
  1. Bob Phillips
  1. Evidence-based On Call, Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, University Dept of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Headington OX3 7JX, UK; bob.phillips@doctors.org.uk

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Randomisation is used within the context of therapeutic studies to try to reduce bias. It does this by using chance to spread, hopefully evenly, important prognostic factors across the groups within the study.

Randomisation can be performed in a number of ways; each variation can be used in different trial situations. To make life easier, for this article we’ll assume there are just two arms, but the principles apply to studies with greater numbers of options too. Simple randomisation is as straightforward as tossing a …

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