Individual point-of-care trials: a new approach to incorporate patient's preferences into personalized pragmatic clinical trials

J.A. Sacristan*, J.A. Knottnerus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review


Although Evidence-based medicine (EBM) and Patient-centered medicine (PCM) are often perceived as two conflicting paradigms that speak the language of populations and the language of individuals, respectively, both share the common objective of improving the care of individual patients. As physicians should not practice an EBM that is away from the individual patient nor a PCM that is not based on the best available evidence, it is crucial to connect and combine both movements, promoting the fruitful and natural interaction between research and care. Achieving such interaction requires developing new individual-patient centric research methods. In this commentary, we propose an innovative clinical research design oriented to personalize point-of-care trials -integrating clinical research and medical care -through the incorporation of individual patients' preferences to build personalized research protocols. Building on the framework of N-of-1 studies, in "individual point-of-care trials,"each protocol could be personalized for each patient so that the therapeutic objectives, the outcome variables analyzed, and the (operationalization of the) compared interventions would be based not only on the clinical and biological characteristics of each patient but also on their individual preferences, goals, and values. If patient preferences are being progressively integrated into medical practice, it makes sense that they also are incorporated into clinical trials embedded in care delivery. The proposal to perform individual point of care trials may be an optimal way to combine EBM and PCM while preserving their foundational principles, and to ensure the connection between "personalized"and "personal"care. (c) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-155
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • clinical trials
  • evidence-based medicine
  • medicine
  • outcomes
  • patient-centered medicine
  • patients
  • point-of-care trials
  • pragmatic trials
  • preferences
  • randomized database
  • randomized registry trials
  • Point-of-care trials
  • Randomized registry trials
  • Patient-centered medicine
  • Clinical trials
  • Patients
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Preferences
  • Pragmatic trials


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