You can’t use an N-of-1 trial for just any research study. N-of-1 trials are most helpful under these circumstances:
- There’s some uncertainty about which treatment works best for this particular individual (otherwise, why bother?).
- There’s evidence that different people have different experiences with these treatments (which is why it’s worth testing for each person).
- Participants have a stable, chronic condition that can improve, but not go away (because if the first treatment fixes the issue, you can’t really test the effect of the other treatments).
- Each potential treatment can take effect quickly and fade quickly (it would take a long time to test your options if the first medication took four weeks to kick in and another four weeks to leave your system)
- Proof that this treatment is working (or not working) is measurable and easy to collect.