Intended for healthcare professionals


Fifty years of randomised controlled trials

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 31 October 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:0

Was the randomised controlled trial the most important development in medicine this century? Some say yes. Others scoff. Whatever your view, it hasclearly been essential for moving to a type of medicine where treatment is expected to be based more on firm evidence of benefit than on the treating doctor's opinion. That transition is far from complete and hotly disputed. But it may be as important a change as that in the renaissance, when medicine began to base itself on experimental evidence rather than on reinterpreting the teachings of the …

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