Australian Trials Methodology (AusTriM) Research Network

Better health through better trials: A national network to develop and implement innovative clinical trials methodology
Australian Trials Methodology (AusTriM) Research Network
Project Status: In progress
Project administered by: Monash University

This NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence brings Australia’s leading biostatisticians with expertise in trials together with investigators who conduct landmark trials across a range of health and medical fields.

AusTriM’s input optimises the planning, design, implementation, analysis and reporting of clinical trials, all of which ensures precious research dollars are used to generate the most accurate and useful evidence possible.

Randomised trials provide gold-standard evidence for the effectiveness of interventions across a wide array of health care settings. Improving the efficiency of future trials and maximizing the benefit of existing trial data are ways to ensure more health gains are made faster.

Recent international calls have emphasised the critical importance of novel trial design to achieve efficient studies. The conventional two-group fixed sample size randomised trial has long been the common practice because it has fundamental strength and clarity.

Newer trial designs, including adaptive trials, seek to overcome limitations associated with the conventional design and are finding application in Australia to answer a range of important prevention and health care questions. Such designs can reduce trial costs and provide answers sooner, resulting in better use of limited research funds and quicker translation of trial findings into practice.

International guidelines are now starting to recommend that every trial’s statistical analyses include sophisticated approaches for intervention effect estimation and for dealing with challenges such as missing data during follow-up of trial participants and non-compliance with randomised intervention. Hence, there is a need for excellence and innovation in trial analysis and to develop methods to meet these challenges.

Further, innovative methods of analysis can address increasingly important questions of whether treatment effectiveness is restricted to subgroups, for instance, whether precision medicine can be achieved.

This CRE has established a national network linking the leading biostatisticians who are experts in the methodology with the leading clinical and public health researchers who are innovative in implementing novel methods in landmark trials.

At the SAHMRI node of this network, we are leading new methodological research into the design and analysis of partially clustered trials and applying the findings in our perinatal trials to improve the health of women and children.

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This project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council