Comparing drug effectiveness at health plans: the ethics of cluster randomized trials

Hastings Cent Rep. 2008 Sep-Oct;38(5):39-48. doi: 10.1353/hcr.0.0050.


"Cluster randomized trials," in which groups of patients are randomly assigned to different therapeutic interventions, provide a powerful way of evaluating drugs. CRTs have not been widely used, in good part because of concerns about whether patients must give informed consent to participate in them. A better understanding of how CRTs fit into clinical practice resolves the concerns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis*
  • Data Collection
  • Health Facility Administrators
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / ethics*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / ethics*