Randomized Clinical Trials of Nonpharmacological Treatments

Isabelle Boutron, Philippe Ravaud, David Moher

December 19, 2011 by Chapman and Hall/CRC
Reference - 403 Pages - 22 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781420088014 - CAT# C8017
Series: Chapman & Hall/CRC Biostatistics Series

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  • Highlights specific issues in assessing nonpharmacological treatments in trials
  • Discusses all possible designs of trials on nonpharmacological treatments
  • Provides practical examples to highlight the issues and solutions in assessing nonpharmacological treatments in trials
  • Considers various categories of treatments from surgical procedures to psychotherapy


Nonpharmacological treatments include a wide variety of treatments such as surgery, technical procedures, implantable and non-implantable devices, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and behavioral interventions. Unlike pharmacological treatments, these have no specific requirements for approval. Consequently, they can be widely proposed in clinical practice but may not have been adequately evaluated. This situation is an important barrier for the evaluation of the beneficial effects of these treatments and the conduct of clinical trials. Randomized Clinical Trials of Nonpharmacologic Treatments focuses on the methods for assessing nonpharmacological treatments, highlighting specific issues and trial design.


  • Chapters written by international experts in the field
  • Highlights specific issues in assessing nonpharmacological treatments in trials including:
    • how to overcome the difficulties of blinding patients, care providers, and outcome assessors
    • the complexity of the intervention, the learning curve, and the clustering effect
    • placebos that can be used
    • issues of assessing harm and assessing the applicability of trials

  • Presents a variety of trial designs for nonpharmacological treatments—including cluster randomized controlled trials, expertise-based trials, pragmatic trials, and nonrandomized trials.
  • Provides several examples of the planning, conduct, analyses, and reporting of trials in different fields, including surgery, technical interventions, medical devices, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and behavioral interventions.

Providing practical examples that underline these issues and solutions, this book is one of the first to exclusively explore this topic, discussing various categories of treatments, from surgical procedures to psychotherapy.


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