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Many published clinical trials are poorly designed, suggesting that the protocol was incomplete, disorganised or contained errors. This fact, doctors' limited statistical skills and the shortage of medical statisticians, prompted us to develop a knowledge-based aid, Design-a-Trial, for authors of clinical trial protocols. This interviews a physician, prompts them with suitable design options, comments on the statistical rigour and feasibility of their proposed design and generates a 6-page draft protocol document. This paper outlines the process used to develop Design-a-Trial, presents preliminary evaluation results, and discusses lessons we learned which may apply to the developed of other medical decision-aids.


Journal article


Comput methods programs biomed

Publication Date





283 - 291


Clinical Trials as Topic, Computer Graphics, Database Management Systems, Expert Systems, Programming Languages, Research Design, Software Design, Software Validation, User-Computer Interface