Outline the strength and weaknesses of the randomized control study design.
Very few candidates demonstrated an understanding of the randomized controlled study
design and discussion of its strengths and weaknesses was limited. There was a significant
knowledge deficit in this area. Some candidates spent time describing the types of blinding
and other details of RCT. Unless related to the strength or weakness, these descriptions did
not score marks.
It is not clear why the college examiners felt that it was somehow valuable to make and then record these comments. As a guide to the revising exam candidate, they have no merit. Unless we need to again be reminded that answers which do not directly address the question tend to score poorly. Weirdly, this time the college complained that people wasted their time with discussions of blinding and "other details", whereas in Question 8(p.2) from the first paper of 2008 they awarded extra marks for "discussion of blinding, prospective design, “efficacy versus effectiveness” trials, applicability and ethical considerations." In general in 2008 the college commentary was of a much higher quality, reflective of the fact that at this early stage the college was not yet inundated with trainees, and there was still some percieved imperative to offer them help and advice.
Advantages of randomised control trial study design:
|Disadvantages of randomised control trial study design
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