Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Many published clinical trials are poorly designed, suggesting that the protocol was incomplete, disorganised, or contained errors. This fact motivated the development of a suite of decision support tools for the design of randomised controlled clinical trials. In this paper we describe these tools, discussing both underlying theoretical issues and usage of the tools. The core tool--Design-a-Trial (DaT)--critiques data entered so as to guide design of a scientifically and ethically sound trial. DaT outputs a text protocol describing the trial, and a corresponding symbolic representation. Linked to DaT is a tool for authoring plans that form part of the trial. A key feature of this tool is the provision of macros for describing commonly occurring plan constructs. We describe another linked tool which generates solutions to Prolog queries requesting advice on how a plan should be revised so as to comply with safety and efficacy requirements. The user is able to navigate a path through the solution search space by interacting with natural language representations of the Prolog sub-goals. This provides the flexibility to generate useful and informative partial solutions, symbolic and textual, for inclusion in the symbolic plan representation and protocol document, respectively.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Artif Intell Med

Publication Date

02/2003

Volume

27

Pages

181 - 200

Keywords

Clinical Trials as Topic, Decision Support Techniques, Great Britain, Humans, Research Design, User-Computer Interface