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The dangers of inferring treatment effects from observational data:a case study in HIV infection

Authors
Journal
Controlled Clinical Trials
0197-2456
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0197-2456(01)00200-8
Keywords
  • Hiv
  • Observational Studies
  • Randomized Controlled Trials
  • Selection Bias
  • Delta Trial
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Several recent articles have implicitly questioned the need for randomized controlled trials, based on a comparison of treatment effects from observational studies and related randomized controlled trials. We present here a counterexample of a comparison of two antiretroviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV infection, in which the observational analysis gave a potentially misleading result. Examples such as this emphasize the need to regard randomized controlled trials as the primary mechanism for assessing therapeutic efficacy.

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