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As part of OCTRU’s goal to ensure that clinical trials are designed and executed to the highest methodological and ethical standards, we participate in, and lead, methodological research of relevance to clinical trials. This also ensures that OCTRU gains and retains a position of leadership in the field, and is recognised internationally as a focus for high quality clinical trial design, conduct and reporting.

Ensuring that clinical trials are designed and executed to the highest methodological and ethical standards

We work closely with the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), which is co-located with the Unit, where statisticians are involved in a number of clinical trials with clinicians and other health care researchers in Oxford and further afield. CSM also carries out methodological research relating to the design, conduct and reporting of studies of diagnosis, prognosis, and clinical trials and hosts the EQUATOR initiative.

At OCTRU we collaborate with a number of world class methodologists. Individuals within the OCTRU team also play a lead role in a number of international initiatives, including:

  • COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials): an initiative which brings together people interested in the development and application of agreed standardised sets of outcomes, known as ‘core outcome sets’ for clinical trials.
  • SPIRIT (Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials): an international initiative that aims to improve the quality of clinical trial protocols by defining an evidence-based set of items to address in a protocol.
  • CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials): an international initiative to alleviate the problems arising from inadequate reporting of randomised trials.
  • PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomised trials.
  • EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network: an international initiative that seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting and wider use of robust reporting guidelines.