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Beyond standard factorial designs

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Friday 13 October 2017, 04:00pm

Location Polwarth Building Room 1.029, Forresterhill, University of Aberdeen

Rebecca Walwyn (Principal Statistician, Clinical Trials Research Unit, Leed Institute of Clinical Trial Research, University of Leeds)
Beyond standard factorial designs: Building on design of experiments methodology for clinical trials of complex interventions
Complex healthcare interventions, such as psychotherapy and surgery, are often defined as interventions that contain several potentially interacting components. Collins and colleagues have proposed that factorial trial designs are used to estimate the individual and combined effects of components of complex interventions. Fisher claimed that one of the benefits of a factorial design is it’s ‘wider inductive basis’, enabling factors to be studied under a variety of conditions. A potential barrier to the uptake of Collins’ proposal is the recommendation that factorial designs are only used in clinical trials when it is safe to assume that there will be no interactions or when the trial is powered to detect realistic interactions. Collins went on to propose a multiphase optimisation strategy (MOST), following design of experiments (DoE) literature from the 1970s and 80s. Optimisation of the intervention package is carried out in two phases: screening and refinement; optimisation follows theoretical development and requires confirmation. Building on Collins’ MOST, I will outline a refined research strategy for developing and evaluating novel and widely adopted complex interventions. I will then illustrate how the four features of intervention complexity highlighted by the MRC could be systematically mapped onto generic experimental designs, each of which can be viewed as a specific extension of a standard factorial design. I will then focus on what I term multilevel and cascading interventions.

Refreshments from 3.30pm

Organiser Name Lorna Aucott

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Organising Group(s) RSS Highlands Local Group