Children can do randomised trials – START competition 2019

Date: 28 May 2019 By Sarah Chapman – Knowledge Broker – Cochrane UK

School children in Ireland have run and presented their own randomised trials in the innovative START competition. Here’s what they achieved and why this matters.

If you’ve ever taken part in a clinical trial, I hope you were told very clearly what would be involved when they asked for your agreement to take part; I hope you felt valued and looked after; and I hope you were told how the trial went and what the results were. If you’ve ever read or done a systematic review, where the results of clinical trials exploring similar things are combined, I hope you could find out exactly how the trial was done – did they randomise people and how did they do that, for instance? What were they looking for and how did they measure it? What did they find and what did any of it mean?

It’s not always like this. It is really wonderful to see these things so very well done by young people at the very beginning of learning about clinical trials. By young, I mean primary school children, who have taken part in the fantastic Ireland-wide START competition, now in its fourth year

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