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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 645064, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/645064
Research Article

MACT: A Manageable Minimization Allocation System

1School of Computer Science and Technology, Tianjin University, 92 Weijin Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300072, China
2Department of Common Required Courses, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 312 Anshanxi Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300193, China
3College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 312 Anshanxi Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300193, China

Received 31 October 2013; Revised 5 January 2014; Accepted 16 January 2014; Published 23 February 2014

Academic Editor: Lei Chen

Copyright © 2014 Yan Cui et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Minimization is a case allocation method for randomized controlled trials (RCT). Evidence suggests that the minimization method achieves balanced groups with respect to numbers and participant characteristics, and can incorporate more prognostic factors compared to other randomization methods. Although several automatic allocation systems exist (e.g., randoWeb, and MagMin), the minimization method is still difficult to implement, and RCTs seldom employ minimization. Therefore, we developed the minimization allocation controlled trials (MACT) system, a generic manageable minimization allocation system. System Outline. The MACT system implements minimization allocation by Web and email. It has a unified interface that manages trials, participants, and allocation. It simultaneously supports multitrials, multicenters, multigrouping, multiple prognostic factors, and multilevels. Methods. Unlike previous systems, MACT utilizes an optimized database that greatly improves manageability. Simulations and Results. MACT was assessed in a series of experiments and evaluations. Relative to simple randomization, minimization produces better balance among groups and similar unpredictability. Applications. MACT has been employed in two RCTs that lasted three years. During this period, MACT steadily and simultaneously satisfied the requirements of the trial. Conclusions. MACT is a manageable, easy-to-use case allocation system. Its outstanding features are attracting more RCTs to use the minimization allocation method.