Multi-Dimensional Testing to Deal with Multiplicity in Clinical Trials

Jul 11, 2018 | Publications and Posters

ARVO Annual Meeting, May 2012


Ophthalmic clinical trials often involve multiple comparisons of different treatment regimes. For example, drug combinations are often compared to their components alone, as well as to the vehicle. Such studies require performing multiple tests of significance, and are prone to type I error, defined as concluding the treatment is effective when in fact the treatment has no effect. Unless accounted for, the greater the number of statistical tests performed, the greater Type I error. There are many ways to account for multiplicity. However, if the method is too conservative, the probability to detect the benefit of the treatment, power, will be decreased, and if the method is too liberal the probability to detect false positives will increase. Any method to address this potential problem should fit within the study design, maximize power and minimize false positives.


This poster details:

  • The issue of multiplicity in clinical trials
  • A comparison of the power of two methods to handle multiplicity
  • Recommended approach that can be applied to a variety of clinical trials

Authored by:

  • Swetha Surabhi
  • Dale Usner, PhD
  • Dale Kennedy, PhD
  • Kathryn Kennedy, PhD
  • Richard Abelson, PhD

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