Discuss the following methods for randomisation in clinical trials using the following categories in your answer: definition, advantages, and disadvantages. You may tabulate your answer.
a) Simple randomisation (25% marks)
b) Block randomisation (25% marks)
c) Stratified randomisation (25% marks)
d) Covariate adaptive randomisation (25% marks)
This is a hugely positive move into the direction of fair SAQ stem wording and explicit instructions for the candidates. With a stem like this, it is unlikely that anybody would ever score poorly just because they failed to guess the exact structure the examiners had expected.
The best possible reference for this ended up being Suresh (2011) from the Journal of human reproductive sciences, as it contains a simple explanation of these exact types of randomisation, and in the exact same order. It was much harder to find solid literature on the disadvantages of adaptive design, perhaps because most authors are more preoccupied with its (admittedly, impressive) positive features; but Scott et al (2002) have some excellent critique.
Contrary to the examiners' wishes, the following answer is a simple unordered list, because the 800-pixel width of Deranged Physiology does not lend itself well to tables with many columns. Thus:
Covariate adaptive randomisation
Suresh, K. P. "An overview of randomization techniques: an unbiased assessment of outcome in clinical research." Journal of human reproductive sciences 4.1 (2011): 8.
Lin, Jianchang, Li-An Lin, and Serap Sankoh. "A general overview of adaptive randomization design for clinical trials." J Biom Biostat 7.2 (2016): 294.
Berger, Vance W. "A unifying framework for standard and covariate-adaptive randomization procedures based on minimizing suitable imbalance functions." Contemporary clinical trials 36.2 (2013): 527-530.
Buyse, Marc. "Limitations of adaptive clinical trials." American Society of Clinical Oncology Educational Book 32.1 (2012): 133-137.
Korn, Edward L., and Boris Freidlin. "Adaptive clinical trials: advantages and disadvantages of various adaptive design elements." JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute 109.6 (2017).
Scott, Neil W., et al. "The method of minimization for allocation to clinical trials: a review." Controlled clinical trials 23.6 (2002): 662-674.