Including all individuals is not enough: Lessons for intention-to-treat analysis

Ctj.sagepub.com: 7/2/12.

Background Intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis requires all randomised individuals to be included in the analysis in the groups to which they were randomised. However, there is confusion about how ITT analysis should be performed in the presence of missing outcome data.

Purposes To explain, justify, and illustrate an ITT analysis strategy for randomised trials with incomplete outcome data.

Methods We consider several methods of analysis and compare their underlying assumptions, plausibility, and numbers of individuals included. We illustrate the ITT analysis strategy using data from the UK700 trial in the management of severe mental illness.

Results Depending on the assumptions made about the missing data, some methods of analysis that include all randomised individuals may be less valid than methods that do not include all randomised individuals. Furthermore, some methods of analysis that include all randomised individuals are essentially equivalent to methods that do not include all randomised individuals.Read More