Comparative effectiveness research: does one size fit all?


Sharon-Lise T. Normand, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, U.S.A.



In this commentary, we argue that although randomization has many benefits, not all questions we seek to answer fit into a randomized setting. Our argument utilizes the clinical setting of carotid atherosclerosis management where specific clinical questions are answered by using a variety of comparative effectiveness designs. Observational studies should not be ruled out when designing studies to address questions of comparative effectiveness. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.