The Randomization Process

  • Lawrence M. Friedman
  • Curt D. Furberg
  • David L. DeMets


The randomized controlled clinical trial is the standard by which all trials are judged since other designs have certain undesirable features. In the simplest case, randomization is a process by which each participant has the same chance of being assigned to either intervention or control. An example would be the toss of a coin, in which heads indicates intervention group and tails indicates control group. Even in the more complex randomization strategies, the element of chance underlies the allocation process. Of course, neither trial participant nor investigator should know what the assignment will be before the participant’s decision to enter the study. Otherwise, the benefits of randomization can be lost. The role that randomization plays in clinical trials has been discussed in Chap. 5 as well as by numerous authors [1–12]. While not all accept that randomization is essential [11, 12], most agree it is the best method for achieving comparability between study groups and is the basis for statistical inference [2, 3].


Adaptive Procedure Simple Randomization Stratify Randomization Equal Allocation Adaptive Randomization 
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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence M. Friedman
    • 1
  • Curt D. Furberg
    • 2
  • David L. DeMets
    • 3
  1. 1.BethesdaUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics & Medical InformaticsUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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