Fair tests of treatments

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Key points

  • Fair tests of treatments are needed because we will otherwise sometimes conclude that treatments are useful when they are not, and vice versa
  • Comparisons are fundamental to all fair tests of treatments
  • When treatments are compared (or a treatment is compared with no treatment) the principle of comparing ‘like with like’ is essential
  • Attempts must be made to limit bias in assessing treatment outcomes[/getit].

Introduction

The principles underlying fair tests of treatments may not be familiar to many readers, but they are not complicated. In fact, much of our everyday, intuitive grasp of the world depends on them. Yet they are not taught well in schools and are often needlessly wrapped up in complex language. As a result, many people shy away from the subject, believing that it is beyond their ability to comprehend. We hope this and the following two chapters will persuade you that you are actually already aware of the key principles, and so will readily understand why they are so important.

  • Ichalmers

    I suggest deleting ‘Readers who would like to explore these issues in more detail will find additional material at http://www.testingtreatments.org and in The James Lind Library.’

  • Anonymous

    Done