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Ulmer M, Robinaugh D, Friedberg JP, Lipsitz SR, Natarajan S. Usefulness of a run-in period to reduce drop-outs in a randomized controlled trial of a behavioral intervention. Contemporary clinical trials. 2008 Sep 1; 29(5):705-10.
The run-in period reduces the number of drop-outs after randomization and improves statistical power. In order to retain external validity, it is important to compare participants who remain in the study and those that cancel, and incorporate that in generalizing from the study.