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June 1958

Clinical Trial

Author Affiliations

Derby, England; (London), Sheffield, England

AMA Arch Derm. 1958;77(6):635-641. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560060001001

Little has been written on the methods of conducting a controlled clinical trial of skin preparations or on the statistical analysis of the results.

To observe the reaction of the skin is easy; the skin might seem, therefore, to be the ideal medium for any sort of trial, but to express the quality and degree of the reaction is difficult.

A clinical trial is described in which an attempt was made to assess the comparative value of a synthetic tar and of prepared coal tar B. P. in two different bases. A satisfactory method of expressing the result was sought.


It is essential in a trial of this sort to have an initial plan and to discuss this at an early stage with the statisticians. If this is not done, all sorts of statistical objections may occur later.

At this stage it is convenient to put a limit

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