randomized controlled trial

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ran·dom·i·zed con·trolled tri·al (RCT),

an epidemiologic experiment in which subjects in a population are allocated randomly into groups, called "experimental" or "study" and "control" groups to receive or not receive an experimental therapeutic or preventive regimen, procedure, maneuver, or intervention.

ran·dom·i·zed con·trolled tri·al

(RCT) (ran'dŏm-īzd kŏn-trōld trī'ăl)
A type of experiment that randomly assigns subjects to various interventions, including a control group, in order to minimize the risk of bias.
See also: control group

randomized controlled trial

Abbreviation: RCT
An experimental study to assess the effects of a particular variable, e.g., a drug or treatment, in which subjects are assigned randomly to an experimental, placebo, or control group. The experimental group receives the drug or procedure; the placebo group's medication is disguised to resemble the drug being investigated. The control group receives nothing. Members of each group are prevented from knowing whether they are receiving active therapy. The researchers gathering the data are also typically blinded to group assignment.


Although RCTs are an essential element in proving clinical relationships (such as between the use of a new drug and the safe cure of a disease), most RCTs do not enroll enough patients for a long enough time to detect rare events.
See also: trial

trial, randomized controlled (RCT) 

An experimental design used for testing the effectiveness of a new medication or a new therapeutic procedure. Individuals are assigned randomly to a treatment group (experimental therapy) and a control group (placebo or standard therapy) and the outcomes are compared. The trial is strengthened by 'blinding' or masking (single-blind, double-blind or triple-blind study) and cross-over design. RCT is the most accepted scientific method of determining the benefit of a drug or a therapeutic procedure. It represents the best evidence available, which is integrated into the final decision about the management of a condition by healthcare practitioners in what is called evidence-based healthcare. Syn. randomized clinical trial. See sampling; significance; study.
References in periodicals archive ?
Critical care professionals must begin to see the possibilities of another world in which healing practices consist of more than bad food (or no food at all), noisy monitors, and drugs derived from randomized controlled trials.
Bone demanded that either the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute should immediately subject the procedure to a randomized controlled trial or the Food and Drug Administration should declare a moratorium on its use.
These funds, which constitute the second round of financing, will be used to support multiple randomized controlled trials around the world, including in the United States.
low-fat diets on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Soy isoflavone intake increases bone mineral density in the spine of menopausal women: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Calcium channel drugs have been marketed in this country for many years, but critics say the current controversy over their safety reflects the fact that they were not subjected to the scientifically rigorous types of studies known as randomized controlled trials.
Randomized controlled trials comparing probiotics with controls in inflammatory bowel disease and data related to remission/response rates, relapse rates, and adverse events were included in this meta-analysis.
The researchers located 49 prospective observational studies and six randomized controlled trials.
The overall cure rates for the various agents were substantially lower in the randomized controlled trials than in open studies.
It is dependent on the use of randomized controlled trials, as well as systematic reviews (of a series of trials) and meta-analysis, although it is not restricted to these.
Interestingly, in 2013, a meta-analysis of 21 randomized controlled trials found that the use of a daily multivitamin-multi mineral supplement nonsignificantly decreased mortality by 2%, compared with a placebo (Macpherson H et al.
Therapy includes statistically significant results from randomized controlled trials, more than 50 textbook citations, and a large compilation of compelling testimony from clinicians who have treated more than one million patients in the U.

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