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JAMA Guide to Statistics and Methods
May 26, 2015

Cluster Randomized Trials: Evaluating Treatments Applied to Groups

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California
  • 3Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Torrance, California
  • 4David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles
  • 5Berry Consultants, Austin, Texas
JAMA. 2015;313(20):2068-2069. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5199

Sometimes a new treatment is best introduced to an entire group of patients rather than to individual patients. Examples include when the new approach requires procedures be followed by multiple members of a health care team or when the new technique is applied to the environment of care (eg, a method for cleaning a hospital room before it is known which patient will be assigned the room). This avoids confusion that could occur if all caregivers had to keep track of which patients were being treated the old way and which were being treated the new way.

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