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The Stepped Wedge Cluster Randomized Trial and Its Potential for Child Health Services Research: A Narrative Review

Published:January 20, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2014.10.008
      We foresee an increasing role for the stepped wedge cluster randomized trial design in child health services research. Although a recent systematic review only identified 25 such studies,
      • Mdege N.D.
      • Man M.S.
      • Taylor Nee Brown C.A.
      • et al.
      Systematic review of stepped wedge cluster randomized trials shows that design is particularly used to evaluate interventions during routine implementation.
      those studies offer themselves as compelling examples to consider. As we will demonstrate, the stepped wedge cluster randomized trial is particularly apt as a research design for health services research. Furthermore, the stepped wedge cluster randomized trial is particularly attractive for health services research concerning children and adolescents because its design addresses problems that complicate child health services research and differentiate those efforts from adult health services research.
      • Forrest C.B.
      • Shipman S.A.
      • Dougherty D.
      • et al.
      Outcomes research in pediatric settings: recent trends and future directions.
      • Stille C.
      • Turchi R.M.
      • Antonelli R.
      • et al.
      The family-centered medical home: specific considerations for child health research and policy.

      Raphael J, Sadof M, Stille C, et al. Not just little adults: considerations for quality measures of child health care. National Quality Measures Clearinghouse. Available at: http://www.qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov/expert/expert-commentary.aspx?id=47906. Accessed April 28, 2014.

      In this narrative review, we illustrate how cluster randomized trials in general address those problems and how the particular form of the stepped wedge cluster randomized trial works to offer additional advantage.

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