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      The HubBLe Trial: haemorrhoidal artery ligation (HAL) versus rubber band ligation (RBL) for symptomatic second- and third-degree haemorrhoids: a multicentre randomised controlled trial and health-economic evaluation

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          Most cited references 83

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          Blinding in randomised trials: hiding who got what.

          Blinding embodies a rich history spanning over two centuries. Most researchers worldwide understand blinding terminology, but confusion lurks beyond a general comprehension. Terms such as single blind, double blind, and triple blind mean different things to different people. Moreover, many medical researchers confuse blinding with allocation concealment. Such confusion indicates misunderstandings of both. The term blinding refers to keeping trial participants, investigators (usually health-care providers), or assessors (those collecting outcome data) unaware of the assigned intervention, so that they will not be influenced by that knowledge. Blinding usually reduces differential assessment of outcomes (information bias), but can also improve compliance and retention of trial participants while reducing biased supplemental care or treatment (sometimes called co-intervention). Many investigators and readers naïvely consider a randomised trial as high quality simply because it is double blind, as if double-blinding is the sine qua non of a randomised controlled trial. Although double blinding (blinding investigators, participants, and outcome assessors) indicates a strong design, trials that are not double blinded should not automatically be deemed inferior. Rather than solely relying on terminology like double blinding, researchers should explicitly state who was blinded, and how. We recommend placing greater credence in results when investigators at least blind outcome assessments, except with objective outcomes, such as death, which leave little room for bias. If investigators properly report their blinding efforts, readers can judge them. Unfortunately, many articles do not contain proper reporting. If an article claims blinding without any accompanying clarification, readers should remain sceptical about its effect on bias reduction.
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            Evaluation and stages of surgical innovations.

            Surgical innovation is an important part of surgical practice. Its assessment is complex because of idiosyncrasies related to surgical practice, but necessary so that introduction and adoption of surgical innovations can derive from evidence-based principles rather than trial and error. A regulatory framework is also desirable to protect patients against the potential harms of any novel procedure. In this first of three Series papers on surgical innovation and evaluation, we propose a five-stage paradigm to describe the development of innovative surgical procedures.
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              CONSORT 2010 Statement: Updated Guidelines for Reporting Parallel Group Randomized Trials

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Health Technology Assessment
                Health Technol Assess
                National Institute for Health Research
                1366-5278
                2046-4924
                November 2016
                November 2016
                : 20
                : 88
                : 1-150
                Article
                10.3310/hta20880
                5165280
                27921992
                © 2016
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