explanatory trial

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explanatory trial2016-12-12T20:34:45+00:00

explanatory trial 


A clinical trial that tests whether an intervention can have a beneficial effect in an ideal situation.

Explanatory trials seek to maximise internal validity by assuring rigorous control of all variables other than the intervention, and thus are often conducted in large, tertiary care, referral-based, health centres on a homogeneous group of patients, who have demonstrated compliance, are likely to remain in the study, and often have no medical condition other than the one under treatment.

Explanatory trials test whether a therapy can work. In contrast, pragmatic trials test whether a therapy actually does work, by managing patients in the real world. 

Reference BMC Medical Research Methodology 2003, 3:28

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