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Randomized controlled trial (RCT) - Ethnoscience Glossary Terms and Abbreviations
In a randomized clinical trial, participants are randomly assigned to one of the treatment groups, either the experimental treatment group(s) or a control group (placebo or positive control). A lottery, performed by hand or by a computer, is used to determine which patient gets assigned to which therapy group. Randomization is used to reduce any possible treatment bias by the researchers or participants. It also helps ensure that the characteristics of the patients in the treatment groups - known as the "arms" of the trial - are similar. A study is not randomized if the doctor or the participants decide which therapy they will receive.