Relative efficiencies of alternative preference-based designs for randomised trials Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Recent work has shown that outcomes in clinical trials can be affected by which treatment the trial participants would select if they were allowed to do so, and if they do or do not actually receive that treatment. These influences are known as selection and preference effects, respectively. Unfortunately, they cannot be evaluated in conventional, parallel group trials because patient preferences remain unknown. However, several alternative designs have been proposed, to measure and take account of patient preferences. In this paper, we discuss three preference-based designs (the two-stage, fully randomised, and partially randomised designs). In conventional trials, only the treatment effect is estimable, while the preference-based designs have the potential to estimate some or all of the selection and preference effects. The relative efficiency of these designs is affected by several factors, including the proportion of participants who are undecided about treatments, or who are unable or unwilling to state a preference; the relative preference rate between the treatments being compared, among patients who do have a preference; and the ratio of patients randomised to each treatment. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these designs under different scenarios.

publication date

  • December 2020