Controlled trials: the 1948 watershed

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Author: Richard Doll
Date: Oct. 31, 1998
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 3,401 words

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Abstract :

The development of new medical treatments prior to 1948 primarily was based on the clinical experiences of senior physicians, without consideration of modern principles of experimental design. In the 1930's, the Medical Research Council in the UK began widespread use of control groups in medical experiments. In 1946, researchers began the first clinical trial of an immunization against pertusis in which research subjects were randomized to a treatment and a control group. The same year, Bradford Hill recommended randomization of subjects to eliminate bias in patient selection.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A53279944