Registry evidence vs RCTs: which should we believe?

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Using clinical examples, we will show the pros and cons of Registry evidence and RCT evidence and contrast and compare the two data sources. The session will cover how we can generate causal assumptions from observational evidence and will describe the many traps that we fall into when interpreting evidence from both sources. Specifically, we will talk about the contrasting evidence for bipolar v unipolar hemiarthroplasty for hip fractures and will provide broader examples of where evidence from these two sources has differed in the past. We will also describe steps that have been taken to combine the strengths of these two data sources in the form of registry-nested RCTs.


  • The limitations of both RCT and observational studies.
  • The unique advantages of each of these study types.
  • How to generate causal inference from observational data.
  • The theory and strengths of registry-nested RCTs


Ian Harris AM, MMed(Clin Epi), PhD, FRACS,
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Honorary Professor, School of Public Health


Sam Adie BSc(Med) MBBS(Hons) MSpMed MPH
Orthopaedic Surgeon and Senior Lecturer
UNSW, Australia Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon, St. George Hospital

John Farey MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Accredited Orthopaedic Registrar at New South
Wales Health

Recorded Video/Audio of Presentation

Recorded Video/Audio of Discussion

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Date And Time

2020-06-23 @ 09:00 PM


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