Interim analyses in randomized clinical trials: ramifications and guidelines for practitioners

Biometrics. 1987 Mar;43(1):213-23.


Recent developments in group sequential methods have had a great impact on the design and analysis of randomized clinical trials. The consequences for both planned and unplanned interim analyses are discussed using several real trials as illustrations. Guidelines for the conduct of interim analysis are given, including tables of nominal significance levels and required sample sizes for several group sequential plans. Areas in need of further theoretical advance include multiple endpoints, estimation of treatment differences, stratification, and design of multiple-armed trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / standards*
  • Humans
  • Random Allocation
  • Research Design / standards
  • Retrospective Studies