The role for pragmatic randomized controlled trials (pRCTs) in comparative effectiveness research 7/2/12

There is a growing appreciation that our current approach to clinical research leaves important gaps in evidence from the perspective of patients, clinicians, and payers wishing to make evidence-based clinical and health policy decisions. This has been a major driver in the rapid increase in interest in comparative effectiveness research (CER), which aims to compare the benefits, risks, and sometimes costs of alternative health-care interventions in ‘the real world’. While a broad range of experimental and nonexperimental methods will be used in conducting CER studies, many important questions are likely to require experimental approaches – that is, randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Concerns about the generalizability, feasibility, and cost of RCTs have been frequently articulated in CER method discussions. Read more