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Surgical researchers told to embrace placebo-controlled trials

The Royal College of Surgeons has called for greater support for placebo-controlled surgical trials from funders and researchers.

In a position statement published on 2 February, the college said that randomised controlled trials were generally considered to be the gold standard of clinical evidence, but that few surgical trial used randomisation and placebo groups.

The college said that only 75 placebo-controlled surgical trials were published up to October 2015, with 53 of them published up to 2013. In comparison, it went on, the vast majority of drug trials include a placebo control group.

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