Randomised Trials for All: RCTs in Health and the Social Sciences
Monday 1st November 2010, 3:00-5:00pm
The first modern randomised controlled trial in humans was conducted among University students in 1931, this was followed a few years later by a RCT in criminal justice in 1938. The first modern medical RCT was in 1944 and the method was relatively underutilised in health care for many years whilst in social sciences the reverse was true. Since the 1970s/80s the RCT has dominated evidence provision in health care and has declined in the social sciences. However, there has been a recent upsurge in the use of RCTs across the social sciences with the Depts of Education, Work and Pensions supporting RCTs in the UK . In this talk David Torgerson, Director of the York Trials Unit, will look at common methodological issues in the use of RCTs not only in health care but also across the social sciences. The talk will discuss conducting pragmatic trials in health, education, criminal justice, political sciences and environmental sciences. Key methodological points will be covered including the need for secure allocation methods; sample size calculation and intention to treat.
Randomised trial; health care; social sciences; methodology