Intended for healthcare professionals

Endgames Statistical question

Allocation bias

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 03 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2162
  1. John Fletcher, clinical epidemiologist
  1. 1BMJ, London WC1H 9JR
  1. jfletcher{at}

    Which, if any, of the following methods is unlikely to introduce bias in the allocation of people to treatments in a trial?

    • a) People are matched according to age and sex, and for each person allocated to one treatment, a matching person is allocated to the other

    • b) The clinician treating the person tosses a coin to decide which treatment to give

    • c) People whose initial letter of their last name is in the first half of the alphabet …

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