Skip to main content

N of 1 trials and the individualization of drug treatments

The ultimate goal of evidence based medicine is the provision of care for the individual patient using the best evidence. The responsibility falls on the clinician to determine what is best for the individual patient, and also on the patient to use the prescribed drugs appropriately. In an attempt to prove the effectiveness of their medications patients have been known to adjust their drug treatment by increasing or decreasing doses and clinicians have also been known to perform trials of therapy in circumstances where there is insufficient evidence-based information for the treatment of an individual patient. Therefore, there is need for a standardized approach to determining treatment effect in the individual patient. The N-of-1 trial provides a means of determining individualised treatment for a patient. They are single-subject, multiple crossover trials where participants are switched periodically from active to control (standard care, placebo) or between active treatments (2 or more) or between several doses of a treatment.

This project aims to provide a detailed typology of N of 1 designs; assess the particular challenges that N of 1 trials can address, and for which conditions N of 1 trials are most useful; and determine if N of 1 trials is an effective way of determining treatment for a patient.

The first phase of the project involves a systematic review of N-of-1 trials, which will help to answer above questions. Second phase involves a survey or interviews with clinicians involved in N-of-1 trials to determine its clinical application.

For more information, please read the project proposal.

Publications

Demeyin WA, Frost J, Ukoumunne OC, Briscoe S, Britten N (2017). N of 1 trials and the optimal individualisation of drug treatments: a systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews 6(90)

Upcoming Events

Apr
16

Searching and Review Clinic

Online appointments via Microsoft Teams

COVID-19 update: Following advice issued to all University of Exeter staff on Monday 16th March to work...
More information

Apr
21

PPI Advice Clinic - POSTPONED

South Cloisters, St Luke's Campus, University of Exeter

Patient and Public Involvement Advice Clinics Held every month 30 minutes between 12pm-1pm Whatever your query, from finding...
More information

Calendar

News

Understanding research priorities for young people with long term health conditions

10 March 2020

A collaboration between researchers has resulted in a clearer understanding of how to address the...
Read more

PenARC welcomes new PhD students

18 February 2020

Our PhD studentships are linked to PenARC project and priority areas and are an important...
Read more

Groundbreaking role for operational research in NHS decision-making

12 February 2020

A pioneering collaboration between PenARC and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) has led to...
Read more

News

Research Projects

Understanding research priorities for young people with long term health conditions

Theme: ARC - Complex Care

A project to identify and describe, through patient and public involvement activities, the research needs of...
Read more

Getting Up Following a Fall

Theme: ARC - Complex Care

Although there is evidence that falls can be prevented, little attention has been paid to...
Read more

Research Projects