Randomized Control Trial
What is Randomized Control Trial?
It is a study design where the participants of the study are randomly assigned in one of the two groups, experimental or control group. As the study progresses, the only difference between the experimental and control group is the outcome variable that is of interest (or which is being studies).
What are the Advantages of Randomized Control Trial Study Design?
The advantages of randomized control trial largely depend on the degree of randomness in the study:
1. A good degree of randomization will results in elimination of any bias that may exist in the population.
2. The execution of the randomized study design is much simpler than that of observational studies.
3. Once the study is completed, the analysis of the data can be carried out by any of the statistical software that is commonly available.
4. In addition, the population that is being considered is clearly identified.
What are the Disadvantages of Randomized Control Trial Study Design?
The disadvantages of randomized control trial have more to do with the execution of the study:
1. Conducting a randomized control trial study is expensive and time consuming, especially if the outcome of interest takes time to mature.
2. Normally the participation of individuals in the study is voluntary and this may impact the study results because the participants are not true representative of the population.
3. The focus of the randomized control trial studies is to see if the outcome of interest varies between the control and the experimental group. Thus, causation is not reveled in these studies.
4. This method requires follow up with the participants for the duration of the study and has the risk of losing them during the follow-up.
What are the important considerations while performing RCT studies?
There are two important things that you should look out for when you are performing a RCT study:
1. The outcome variables should be the only variables that may differ between the experimental or control group. Otherwise the participants in the two groups should be ideally same.
2. There should be only one population that is being considered and studied. This means that we are assigning participants from the same population to the experimental or control group and there are not two populations in study (one being assigned to control and other to experimental).