Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: The aim was to assess whether an intervention incorporating a practicable open-label n-of-1 trial would lead to greater uptake of statin than usual care and comparable uptake to a closed-label gold-standard n-of-1 trial. METHODS: We enrolled patients who had stopped or declined statins into a 3-arm trial (usual care, unblinded, and blinded n-of-1 intervention arms). Physicians advised participants randomized to usual care to take statin therapy to prevent cardiovascular disease. In both intervention arms, physicians delivered a theoretically informed informed intervention endorsing the value of experimenting with medication in n-of-1 trials to assess whether it caused side-effects. In these trials, participants alternated between 4 weeks of medication and no medication (unblinded arm) or randomly sorted active and placebo (blinded arm) and recorded symptoms and symptom attributions for 6 months. Thereafter, physicians discussed participants' symptom reports during active/inactive treatment periods and asked participants to resume statins if appropriate. RESULTS: Seventy-three were randomized to the intervention arms and 20 to the control group. Fifty-six of 73 (77%) attempted the n-of-1 experiment; 28/36 (78%) in the unblinded arm; and 28/37 (76%) in the blinded arm. Forty-three of 56 (77%) completed the 6-month experiment and received feedback from the physician; 20/28 (71%) in the unblinded arm and 23/28 (82%) in the blinded arm. Thirty-three of 76 (45%) people restarted statins in the n-of-1 arms compared with 4/20 (20%) in the control arm, difference 24% (95% CI, 5%-43%; P=0.041). There was no evidence this differed between blinded and unblinded arms, difference 2% (95% CI, -20% to 24%; P=0.86). Adverse events occurred at a similar rate on and off statin. CONCLUSIONS: In patients refusing or intolerant of statin, supporting experimentation with n-of-1 trials increases medication uptake compared with usual care. Alternating on-off medication in unblinded n-of-1 experiments appears as effective as a blinded experiment. REGISTRATION: URL: https://doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN11142694; Unique identifier: ISRCTN11142694.

Original publication

DOI

10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.120.007793

Type

Journal article

Journal

Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes

Publication Date

14/06/2022

Keywords

cardiovascular disease, preventive health services, psychosocial interventions, single case trial