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Randomization

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Randomization is a term used in clinical trials to denote a scheme for assigning study subjects to treatment groups using methods that are independent of the individual subjects’ characteristics. Typically, when randomization is used, each participant has an equal chance of assignment to each study group or treatment group. Many characteristics of study subjects may affect the relationship of treatment and outcome; some of these are known to the researcher in advance, some are not known. By randomization we hope to sort people with these characteristics equally between the treatment groups. Randomization should also yield equal distributions of characteristics that affect the outcome in ways that the researcher did not anticipate.

The effectiveness of randomization is evaluated through comparing the resulting treatment groups on baseline characteristics ...

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