Selection of patients for randomized controlled trials: Implications of wide or narrow eligibility criteria
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This paper discusses the various philosophies that influence the selection of patients for entry into randomized controlled trials. Although a number of different and often competing issues have to be considered depending upon the trial, keeping entry criteria simple, wide and at times even flexible is usually preferable. Such a strategy can be a positive virtue by helping to attain the large numbers of patients that are usually needed to reliably detect the sorts of moderate benefits that are plausible, at a reasonable cost and by providing answers that are relevant to many different categories of patients with a particular condition.
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