june, 2019

12jun2:00 pm3:00 amWhen and how we cluster and cross over: methodological and ethical issuesEvent Type: Webinar


Event Details

The HRB-TMRN are organising a webinar on the 12th June (2pm) that will focus on methodological and ethical issues of clustering and cross-over. Delivered by Cory Goldstein (Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Canada) and Dr Monica Taljaard (uOttawa Canada), this webinar is based on their paper of the same title, published in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia (available here). The abstract of the paper is detailed below.

The webinar is free and will be delivered through Zoom, and you can register here.


The mission of the HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) is to strengthen the methodology and reporting of clinical trials in health and social care on the island of Ireland so that they become more relevant, accessible and influential for patients and other service users, practitioners, policy makers and the public.

Paper Abstract

Spence et al. describe the need for more randomized controlled trials to provide rigorous evidence of the real-world effectiveness of treatments and treatment strategies in anesthesia practice. This call is supported by evidence citing a large degree of individual practice variability among cardiac anesthesiologists regarding benzodiazepine use within the standard of care. They describe the cluster randomized crossover design as ideal for this purpose. In the proposed approach, they “seek to evaluate the impact of two different approaches to cardiac anesthesia, one where nearly all patients receive intraoperative benzodiazepines unless there are contraindications (routine benzodiazepine arm), and the other where nearly all patients receive no intraoperative benzodiazepines unless there are contraindications (benzodiazepine restricted arm)…during 12, four-week crossover periods”. The interventions are implemented as policies such that all eligible patients in the hospital during each period receive the allocated interventions by default without any patient recruitment or consent. While we do not dispute the need for rigorous evidence to inform policy and practice, we have concerns regarding the methodological and ethical issues raised in trials such as the B-Free trial.


(Wednesday) 2:00 pm - 3:00 am




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