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Randomised trials useful to find best methods of enhancing clinical practice

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 15 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1353
  1. Jeremy C Wyatt, Senior fellow in health and public policy,
  2. Sarah Paterson-Brown, Consultant obstetrician,
  3. Nicholas M Fisk, Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology,
  4. Richard Johanson, Senior lecturer in obstetrics,
  5. Douglas G Altman, Head,
  6. Michael Bradburn, Statistician
  1. School of Public Policy, University College London, London WC1E 7HN
  2. Institute for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Imperial College School of Medicine, Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, London W6 0XG
  3. Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, City General Hospital, Stoke on Trent ST4 6QG
  4. ICRF Medical Statistics Group, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LF

EDITOR—Although we are flattered that Keirse devoted his whole editorial to our study on the use of educational visits to enhance the use of systematic reviews, we wish to correct some errors. 1 2 Tossing a coin is not inherently a biased method of randomisation, but any open allocation method may lead to selection bias.3 In our cluster trial we randomly assigned 25 hospitals that had already been recruited to either an educational visit or to a control group, and we blinded data collectors to allocation and outreach …

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