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November 1, 1995

Reporting Randomized Controlled Trials

Author Affiliations

Rockville Centre, NY

JAMA. 1995;274(17):1342. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530170022014

To the Editor.  —I am enthusiastic about your experiment in the structured reporting of randomized controlled trials.1 I agree that current methods provide too little detail about methods to determine a study's statistical validity. However, the structured system you suggest is cumbersome. I suggest the following solution.Rather than delineating randomization issues one by one, why not have an authoritative statistician publish an article in JAMA with appropriate methods outlined and named so that they can be referenced by authors? This would be similar to current style in reporting postrandomization statistical methods, eg, the Cox proportional hazards test. Where specifics are required or variances need to be reported, this could easily be explained without undue verbiage in the text. In this way, full details of the methods could be reported without throwing an undue burden on either author or reader.

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