Endgames Statistical Question

Crossover trials

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3710 (Published 29 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3710
  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 investigated the efficacy and side effects of the synthetic cannabinoid nabilone in comparison with those of the weak opioid dihydrocodeine for treating chronic neuropathic pain. A randomised, double blind, crossover trial was used. In total 96 participants with chronic neuropathic pain aged 23-84 years were recruited. Treatments were delivered in an escalating manner so that by the end of a six week treatment period the participants were receiving a maximum daily dose of 240 mg dihydrocodeine or 2 mg nabilone. The trial lasted for 14 weeks, comprising two treatment periods each of six weeks’ duration, separated by a two week washout period.1

The main outcome measure was pain as measured on a visual analogue scale over the final two weeks of …

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