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An introduction to randomized controlled clinical trials.
  1. I K CROMBIE, University of Dundee
  1. Scotland

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    An introduction to randomized controlled clinical trials. J N S Matthews. (Pp 189; price not stated). London: Arnold.

    This book sets as its aim to provide an introduction to the statistical methodology that underpins randomised controlled trials. It is intended for students of statistics (honours year and postgraduate) and takes a mathematical approach to the subject. The book covers most of the important features of the design and analysis of clinical trials, developing the necessary statistical theory. It also covers sequential methods, cross over studies and equivalence trials. However, survival analysis is omitted and the analysis of binary outcomes is only partially covered. The rationale for this may be that the author wanted to avoid a mathematical treatment of these topics: if so, a heuristic explanation may have been a better option. Despite this limitation the book achieves its aim, and has many excellent features. It expands on the theory by using worked examples that are based on real data. These are analysed using the package Minitab and helpful guidance is given on the commands used to conduct the analyses. However, the reader will be frustrated because the raw data on which the analyses are run are not included with the book. Another attractive feature is the inclusion of exercises at the end of each chapter, for which helpful solutions are provided at the end of the book. Overall, if you have a good grounding in statistics, this will be a very useful book.