Eliciting adverse effects data from participants in clinical trials.

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Elizabeth N AllenKaren Barnes


Analysis of drug safety in clinical trials involves assessing adverse events (AEs) individually or by aggregate statistical synthesis to provide evidence of likely adverse drug reactions (ADR). While some AEs may be ascertained from physical examinations or tests, there is great reliance on reports from participants to detect subjective symptoms, where he/she is often the only source of information. There is no consensus on how these reports should be elicited, although it is known that questioning methods influence the extent and nature of data detected. This leaves room for measurement error and undermines comparisons between studies and pooled analyses. This review investigated comparisons of methods used in trials to elicit participant-reported AEs. This should contribute to knowledge about the methodological challenges and possible solutions for achieving better, or more consistent, AE ascertainment in trials. To systematically review the research that has compared methods used within clinical drug trials (or methods that would be specific for such trials) to elicit information about AEs defined in the protocol or in the planning for the trial. Databases (searched to March 2015 unless indicated otherwise) included: Embase;...Continue Reading


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