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Handbooks Courses Units

EPM5007 - Design of randomised controlled trials

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Associate Professor P Ryan


Not offered in 2008


This unit will introduce randomised comparisons as a major tool used in medical research and the basis of providing evidence for improving clinical practice. By developing problems based on clinical questions, the need and value of different experimental designs will be introduced and expanded. Within this context, issues with regards to randomisation, clinical study design and analysis interpretation will be developed. Efficiency issues such as sample size and power will be introduced at appropriate points in the unit.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. identify the benefits of randomisation as a mechanism for reduction and balancing bias, and implement a variety of randomisation schemes;
  2. demonstrate knowledge of the principles behind the common experimental designs and be able to implement, analyse and interpret data from a variety of randomised designs;
  3. describe the efficiency advantages of crossover design, and be able to design, analyse and interpret the two-period crossover study;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the principles underlying Phase I, II and III and IV studies as well as an appreciation of the scientific basis underlying issues in clinical studies including intention-to-treat, blinding, interim analyses and subgroup ;analyses and
  5. appreciate the importance of sample size in clinical studies, and perform sample size calculations for a variety of trial designs with different outcomes.


Written assignments
1 examination.





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