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Unit Aims

Find out about the Aims of the Clinical Trials and Evaluation Unit.

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Our broad aim has been to do more of the same but to do it better. We believe that we have achieved this, reporting the results of 9 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and 11 observational studies, with an additional 7 RCTs and 12 observational studies in progress.

The quality of randomised controlled trials has been improved by concealment of randomisation, improved methods of data collection, blinding when possible and defining clinical measures. More detailed data about the timing of post-operative complications are being collected, allowing more valid analysis. The quality of observational studies has been improved by introducing a systematic follow-up to identify cardiac-related events and deaths, requiring a priori protocols. State-of-the-art statistical techniques are being used to maximise the value of the data.

The Unit carries out

  • studies to evaluate the effects of treatments and risk factors in patients with cardiovascular disease
  • methodological research to improve the way in which evaluations are conducted
  • studies to quantify the effects of treatment and risk factors include both randomised controlled trials (RCTs)
  • observational studies
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Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are used to evaluate the effects of new treatments compared to existing ones, when patients can be allocated randomly to alternative treatments. Observational studies are used to identify investigate risk factors for complications and poor long-term outcome after treatment and to inform research questions subsequently investigated in Randomised Controlled Trials.

This unit receives National Institute for Health Research CTU Support Funding. This funding has been awarded to support the unit in developing and supporting NIHR trials