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Evaluating Behavioral Interventions in Randomized Controlled Trials

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SW834, Section 001

Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard study design to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions deployed in educational, clinical, and service-based settings. This course will use lecture, small groups, and case examples to help you develop the advanced skills and applied knowledge to design and lead randomized controlled trials to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of behavioral interventions. The course will cover the following topics:

1. Describe the principles (e.g., equipoise) underlying the conduct of an unbiased randomized controlled trial (RCT), which is commonly referenced as a ‘clinical trial.’
2. Identifying specific challenges/pitfalls with and solutions to conducting RCTs to evaluate behavioral interventions
3. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of a range of research designs in addition to RCT (e.g., quasi-experimental)
4. Understanding methods for monitoring, coordinating, conducting, processing data, and evaluating behavioral RCTs
5. Understanding decisions regarding selection of primary and secondary outcome measures.
6. Understanding the importance of and strategies for randomization and conducting unbiased analysis
7. Understanding the importance of mixed-methods and qualitative evaluations within the context of RCTs.
8. Understanding the role of implementation science when designing and leading RCTs
9. Designing a specific study to test a behavioral intervention within an educational, clinical, or service-based setting

Semester: Fall 2022
Instructor: Matthew J. Smith
Category: Research Methods
U-M Class #: 33901
Program Type: Residential
Format: In-Person
Credits: 3 Credit Hours

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