Is Significant Relevant? Validity and Patient Benefit of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials on Age-related Macular Degeneration.
Author(s): Joussen AM, Lehmacher W, Hilgers RD, Kirchhof B
Affiliation(s): Department of Ophthalmology, University of Dusseldorf.
Publication date & source: 2007-05, Surv Ophthalmol., 52(3):266-78.
A large variety of new treatment options for different forms of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) are becoming available. Not all new therapies may meet the expectations of patients and ophthalmologists. Despite the given statistical significant priority of treatment investigations, the endpoints may not be relevant to the patient's requirements. Therefore, questions inevitably arise regarding patient's benefit and the validity of the randomized controlled trials. The randomized controlled trial is regarded as the "gold standard" in terms of evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. The external validity of randomized controlled trials may be compromised, if, for example, patients assigned to the study group are unrepresentative of the reference population. This review aims to analyze problems with external validity in the randomized controlled trials on ARMD and surveys the endpoints of clinical studies with respect to the patient benefit.