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Randomised controlled trials in child and adolescent health in 2023
  1. Trevor Duke1,2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, and Intensive Care Unit, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Child Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  1. Correspondence to Prof Trevor Duke, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne and Intensive Care Unit, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, 3052, Australia; trevor.duke{at}


In the year July 2022 to June 2023 there were 501 publications from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in child and adolescent health in developing countries identified through a standardised search strategy that has been going for 20 years. This year, trials addressed the widest range of diseases and conditions that affect the health, development and well-being of children, newborns, adolescents and mothers. RCTs reflected old, neglected and new problems, the changing epidemiology of child health, social and economic circumstances in many countries, local and global priorities of low-income and middle-income countries, environmental causes of poor child health, and inequities. The RCTs tested new and refined treatments, diagnostics, vaccines, holistic management, and prevention approaches, and explored many outcomes, including mortality, nutrition, psychosocial measures, and neurodevelopment. The studies were conducted in numerous hospitals and healthcare clinics, schools, and communities, including among some of the world’s most disadvantaged populations in humanitarian and refugee emergencies. Some studies are of the highest quality, and others fall short. Many RCTs will influence guidelines, practice and policies for years to come.

  • Child Health
  • Child Health Services
  • Adolescent Health
  • Global Health
  • Neonatology

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  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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