In a paper published in BMJ Open (June 9)
researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health find
that many COVID-19 trials initiated since March 2020 are "designed in ways that will greatly limit their value in understanding potential treatments". In a review of 201 registered trials the authors argue that many of them have significant shortcomings in terms of design including low enrolment (less than 100 participants), lack of control groups and many didn't include clinical endpoints. In addition, they found that two-thirds of the studies were open label meaning doctors and patients were aware of who was receiving treatments.
Hemalkumar Mehta, PhD, Study First Author and Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health said:
"Because of these weaknesses, many of these studies are likely to yield only preliminary evidence.Given the urgency of identifying definitive evidence on potential COVID-19 treatments, this is an instance where we wish we did not have to say 'further research is needed' because of basic trial design shortcomings and small trials."
Read the full article here.