Access Keys:
Skip to content (Access Key - 0)

How to assess a randomized controlled trial in surgery

Thoma A, Farrokhyar F, Bhandari M, Tandan V, Evidence-Based Surgery Working Group. Users' guide to the surgical literature. How to assess a randomized controlled trial in surgery. Can J Surg 2004;47(3):200-8.

Abstract

Clinicians are presented with problems that require evidence. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered the optimal study design for evaluating the effect of a new medical or surgical intervention. Surgical RCTs are carried out less often than RCTs of medical interventions, partly because using RCTs to evaluate surgical or interventional procedures is difficult and demands special consideration of issues such as blinding and the effects of surgeon factor, learning curve and differences in pre or postprocedural care. Despite these obstacles, RCTs are becoming more common as surgeons in many specialties become acquainted with the proper methodology for health research.

The mere description of a study as “randomized” does not allow clinicians to infer validity—to base inferences on the accuracy of the results
drawn from the sample of patients studied (internal validity) or the generalizability of these results to other settings (external validity). The purpose of this article is to review, within a framework of a critical appraisal of surgical RCTs, strategies to interpret the results and the issues to consider when applying these results to a clinical practice setting. A clinical scenario will be used to illustrate how surgeons might retrieve and evaluate evidence.

View on PubMed

Download PDF

Peer Review

OrthopaedicsOne Peer Review Workflow is an innovative platform that allows the process of peer review to occur right within an OrthopaedicsOne article in an open, transparent and flexible manner. Learn more

Instructions for Authors

Read our Instructions for Authors to learn about contributing or editing articles on OrthopaedicsOne.

Content Partner

Learn about becoming an OrthopaedicsOne Content Partner.

Academic Resources

Resources on How to assess a randomized controlled trial in surgery from Pubget.

The license could not be verified: License Certificate has expired!
Orthopaedic Web Links

Internet resources validated by OrthopaedicWebLinks.com

The license could not be verified: License Certificate has expired!
Related Content

Resources on How to assess a randomized controlled trial in surgery and related topics in OrthopaedicsOne spaces.

Page: How to use an article about a diagnostic test (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Page: How to use an article evaluating surgical interventions (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Page: How to use an article on economic analysis (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Page: How to use an article reporting population-based volume-outcome relationships in surgery (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Page: How to perform a literature search (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Page: How to use a systematic literature review and meta-analysis (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Page: How to assess a randomized controlled trial in surgery (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Page: Self-audit and practice appraisal for surgeons (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Page: How to use a decision analysis (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Page: How to assess an article on health-related quality of life (OrthopaedicsOne Articles)
Showing first 10 of 25 results