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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55-61

An overview of randomization and minimization programs for randomized clinical trials

Department of Anesthesiology, Medical Image and Signal Processing Research Center, Department of Anesthesia, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Mahmoud Saghaei
PO Box 931, Al-Zahra Medical Center, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2228-7477.83520

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Randomization is an essential component of sound clinical trials, which prevents selection biases and helps in blinding the allocations. Randomization is a process by which subsequent subjects are enrolled into trial groups only by chance, which essentially eliminates selection biases. A serious consequence of randomization is severe imbalance among the treatment groups with respect to some prognostic factors, which invalidate the trial results or necessitate complex and usually unreliable secondary analysis to eradicate the source of imbalances. Minimization on the other hand tends to allocate in such a way as to minimize the differences among groups, with respect to prognostic factors. Pure minimization is therefore completely deterministic, that is, one can predict the allocation of the next subject by knowing the factor levels of a previously enrolled subject and having the properties of the next subject. To eliminate the predictability of randomization, it is necessary to include some elements of randomness in the minimization algorithms. In this article brief descriptions of randomization and minimization are presented followed by introducing selected randomization and minimization programs.

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