Randomized trials in clinical research tend to recruit diverse patients including some individuals who may be unresponsive to the treatment. Here we introduce a methodology to test whether patients near a sweet-spot experience more relative benefit than patients at the extremes. We then demonstrate this methodology based on a randomized trial of defibrillators to reduce all-cause mortality in patients with heart failure. An awareness of this methodology, we suggest, may help for identifying a sweet-spot in a randomized trial where some patients experience more relative benefit than other patients.
Suggested Readings: "An approach to explore for a sweet spot in randomized trials," PDF available for download at med.stanford.edu/dbds/programs/workshop-in-biostatistics.html
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