Can We Learn Anything from Small Trials? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In summary, then, we can learn three useful things from small clinical trials. First, we can learn when to challenge conventional but untested therapeutic wisdom. Second, because the patient number in any trial is the number of events, rather than the number of study patients, some small trials are so definitively positive that they are sufficient to identify the best therapy. And third, small trials, even when individually inconclusive, can serve as the basis for convincingly conclusive overviews and meta-analyses that carry, and deserve, greater credibility than a single large trial of similar size to their sum.

publication date

  • December 1993