Endgames Statistical Question

Allocation concealment

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e156 (Published 11 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e156
  1. Philip Sedgwick, senior lecturer in medical statistics
  1. 1Centre for Medical and Healthcare Education, St George’s, University of London, Tooting, London, UK
  1. p.sedgwick{at}sgul.ac.uk

Researchers assessed the effects of a multimodal group exercise programme, as an adjunct to conventional care, on fatigue, physical capacity, general wellbeing, physical activity, and quality of life in patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. The intervention consisted of supervised exercise comprising high intensity cardiovascular and resistance training, relaxation, and body awareness training, together with massage, for nine hours a week for six weeks in addition to conventional care. A randomised controlled trial study design was used. The control treatment was conventional medical care.1

The sequence in which participants were allocated to treatment was generated randomly by computer. Participants were recruited by a clinical research unit that was not involved in treatment delivery or data collection. To ensure allocation concealment, the patients and the research unit were unaware of the allocation sequence before recruitment. Treatment allocation was revealed only after patients had been …

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