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Am J Chin Med. 2002;30(1):173-6.

Misuse of randomization: a review of Chinese randomized trials of herbal medicines for chronic hepatitis B.

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The Copenhagen Trial Unit, Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, H:S Rigshospitalet, Denmark.


The quality of randomization of Chinese randomized trials on herbal medicines for hepatitis B was assessed. Search strategy and inclusion criteria were based on the published protocol. One hundred and seventy-six randomized clinical trials (RCTs) involving 20,452 patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection were identified that tested Chinese medicinal herbs. They were published in 49 Chinese journals. Only 10% (18/176) of the studies reported the method by which they randomized patients. Only two reported allocation concealment and were considered as adequate. Twenty percent (30/150) of the studies were imbalanced at the 0.05 level of probability for the two treatments and 13.3% (20/150) imbalanced at the 0.01 level in the randomization. It is suggested that there may exist misunderstanding of the concept and the misuse of randomization based on the review.

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