Randomised controlled trials in general practice

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7033.779 (Published 23 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:779

Are preferable to observational studies

  1. Tom Fahey
  1. Lecturer in primary health care Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2PR

    EDITOR,—Mike Pringle and Richard Churchill rightly emphasise that a randomised controlled trial should be used in general practice only when it is the appropriate method for the research question that is being posed.1 However, they refer to the potential biases in randomised controlled trials without paying due regard to the advantages of such trials over observational methods.

    Observational studies do not provide definitive answers to questions about therapeutic effectiveness.2 This is because bias …

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