Random Controlled Trial

A randomized controlled trial, or RCT, is a study where people are selected completely by random or chance to either receive a treatment or clinical intervention, or to receive the control or standard of comparison. The standard of comparison is often a placebo or sugar pill in the case of medication trials, or it may be a standard practice or no actual intervention at all. A randomized controlled trial is used to measure the outcome of individuals, or participants, who receive treatments or clinical interventions. To assess the nature of the outcomes of participants, they must be compared to the participants who did not receive the intervention or treatment being studied. RCTs are, in short, controlled, comparative trials that are an extremely powerful tool within medical research. Randomized controlled trials are simple to organize and often easy to conduct; the most important factor is that the participants’ selection is absolutely by chance.