Interpretation of clinical trial results: a committee opinion

This document provides guidance, background, and tips on how to recognize quality trials and focuses on evaluating the validity, importance, and relevance of clinical trial results.

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Volume 113, Issue 2, Pages 295–304


Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine 


Evidence from clinical trials is fundamental to ethical medical practice. Along with patient preferences, circumstances, and clinical experience, evidence is central to effective clinical decision-making. Applying evidence to clinical questions requires filtering in the form of three questions. First, do the trial results reflect true effects of intervention, rather than artifactual ones (validity)? Second, do the results suggest that the intervention is clinically useful (importance)? Third, could the results apply to individual patients encountered in daily practice (relevance)? This document provides background and tips on how to recognize trials of quality and focus on evaluating the validity, importance, and relevance of clinical trial results (Table 1).

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.