Current Edition

A Touch of Pragmatism in Clinical Trials

Since Schwartz and Lellouch coined the terms “pragmatic” in 1967
to describe trials designed to help choose between options for care,
and “explanatory” to describe trials designed to test causal research
hypotheses, the distinction between these two types of research
has become even more prominent. However, there is an increasing
recognition of the potential benefits of pragmatic trials in testing
complex interventions. This brief review by Dr Evan Papanastasiou,
MD MSc, a pharmaceutical physician and qualified psychiatrist
with more than 15 years of clinical experience, aims to provide the
reader with the highlights of the published literature in this rapidly
evolving field of clinical research.