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Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit

Pride and Pragmatism: Celebrating 50 Years of Pragmatic Trials

The Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit celebrated half a century of pragmatic trials on September 28th 2017 at The Tomlinson Centre, Hackney, London. 

Morning Session: Course on Pilot and Feasibility Studies

This workshop was based on the work of the Pilot and Feasibility Studies (PAFS) collaboration. The PAFS collaboration is an international research group working on the reporting and conduct of pilot and feasibility studies. In 2016 the group published a framework for defining pilot and feasibility studies and the CONSORT extension for randomised pilot trials.

This workshop was run by Professor Sandra Eldridge and Claire Chan, Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit, who are members of the PAFS group. Other members of the PAFS collaboration are: Christine Bond, University of Aberdeen; Mike Campbell, University of Sheffield; Sally Hopewell, University of Oxford; Gill Lancaster, University of Keele; Lehana Thabane, McMaster University.

The workshop aims were to: 

  • Introduce participants to an overarching conceptual framework for defining pilot and feasibility studies conducted in preparation for a randomised controlled trial of effectiveness.
  • Present the CONSORT reporting guideline for pilot randomised trials, particularly focusing on where this differs from the main CONSORT Statement.
  • Use participants’ examples of pilot and feasibility trials to exemplify good practice in reporting, design and conduct.
  • Give participants hands on experience of using the CONSORT extension to assess the reporting of a trial.


Afternoon Session: Discussion on Current and Future State of the Pragmatic Trial.

Session 1: Some current issues in pragmatic trials_bias outcomes and regulation - Sandra Eldridge [PDF 1,163KB]

Professor Sandra Eldridge

Director, Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit

 Session 2: Why we should do more Pragmatic Trials and how PRECIS-2 could help - Kirsty Loudon. [PDF 1,239KB]

Dr Kirsty Loudon

Stirling University

(with a contribution by Professor Shaun Treweek, Professor of Health Services Research, Univeristy of Aberdeen)

 Session 3: RCTs and routine data_the promise the realitt and the potential - Kerry Hood [PDF 1,524KB]

Professor Kerry Hood

Director, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University

Session 4:Why clinical trials are like bicycles - Richard Hooper [PDF 2,181KB]

Dr Richard Hooper

Reader in Medical Statistics, Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit

Session 5:Pragmatic Trials_The Next 50 Years - Deborah Ashby [PDF 3,413KB]

Professor Deborah Ashby

Deputy Chair, NIHR HRA Programme

Professor of Medical Statistics, Imperial College

Session 6: Prag 50 Day Closing remarks - Sandra Eldridge [PDF 722KB]

Professor Sandra Eldridge

Director, Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit


The programme for this event can also be downloaded: Pride and Pragmatism programme [PDF 34KB]


Please note that this event has already taken place.

For more information about future events run by PCTU, please contact PCTU Administrator.



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