At a time when evidence-based practice is the standard bearer for understanding health behaviour, problems and interventions, ensuring that researchers know the appropriate designs and methods for their research is more paramount than ever. Health Intervention Research will equip those doing research in these communities with the knowledge and tools they need to inform their methodological decisions when planning and conducting studies. This book describes both commonly used (e.g., randomized clinical trials) and advanced (e.g. preference trials, pragmatic trials) designs and methods for health intervention research. It outlines the theoretical reasoning underlying these different approaches, and synthesizes the evidence which supports or disputes different designs and methods. To achieve its aims, the book is divided into three main sections. The first section points to the need to base methodological decisions on evidence and highlights the importance of carefully selecting research designs and methods to maintain validity. The second section focuses on designs to determine the effects of intervention on outcomes, outlining their features and discussing how these can be used to evaluate interventions. The last section covers methods used in conducting intervention evaluation research. For each design and method, the following is covered: what it is, what the logic underlying it is, what the evidence supporting its effectiveness is, and also includes its advantages, its limitations, and how can it be implemented. This will be key reading for postgraduates and novice researchers in health and clinical psychology, health sciences and nursing.

Assignment of Participants to Study Groups
Assignment of Participants to Study Groups

Once selected and found eligible, participants are assigned to the intervention and comparison groups, using different methods. In this chapter, the logic underlying each method, as well as its strengths and weaknesses are discussed. Evidence supporting the points of discussion is synthesized. Practical issues encountered with the application of the treatment allocation methods are highlighted, as well as strategies for carrying out concealment of treatment allocation.

Random Assignment

Random assignment or randomization involves the application of chance-based procedures for allocating participants to the intervention and the comparison treatment (Borglin and Richards, 2010). The process of randomization is applied at the level of individual participants in RCTs or the level of the targeted group in cluster randomized trials. It is done in a way that gives eligible, consenting ...

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