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An arm is a group or subgroup of participants in clinical trials. The group may receive a specific intervention or no intervention, in accordance with the trial’s protocol.
Several types of arms may be used in trials
- Experimental arm: Group that receives the intervention that is the focus of the investigation.
- Active comparator arm: Group receives another therapy to treat the same condition as the experimental therapy that is considered to be effective.
- Placebo comparator arm: Group receives an inactive therapy.
- Sham comparator arm: Group received an inactive therapy that is made to look identical to the intervention being studied.
- No intervention arm.
Most clinical trials have multiple treatment arms, however, Phase I and II trials may involve single-arm trials in which the enrolled participants are all given the experimental therapy and followed.
Source: NIH. (n.d.). NCBI -Glossary of Common Site Terms. ClinicalTrials.Gov. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/about-studies/glossary