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Efficiency by design: remoulding randomised evaluations in improvement studies (Project complete)

Prof Richard Hooper

Area of study

Methods

Fellowship level

Senior

Year awarded

2019

Host university

Blizard Institute, School of Medicine & Dentistry
Queen Mary University of London

Background

The randomised control trial (RCT) launched a revolution in medical research. But more than 70 years after it was first introduced, is the RCT still relevant, or does it need to evolve to survive?

Recent innovations in trial design have the potential to improve the efficiency of randomised evaluations. In research about healthcare, that means minimising the burden of study participation – by reducing the number of measurements, participants, or groups of participants required – without compromising the quality of evidence.

Testing these new developments, and exploring other innovations in RCT design, could have particular benefits for healthcare improvement studies.

Approach

This project involves studying, publishing, and disseminating work on new and innovative randomised trials designs, including the “dog-leg” trial – which was introduced in 2015 by Richard Hooper and a colleague.

It also involves opening up new avenues for research into innovative trials designs, working with applied health researchers to implement these innovations, and working with the improvement studies community to promote an appreciation for randomised evaluation.

Over the course of his fellowship, Richard has published several papers discussing different aspects of stepped wedge trials, including a paper on the subject of –  and he gave a keynote talk at the THIS Space conference in November 2021, entitled ‘The shape of trials’ which you can watch here.

Richard gave an NIH webinar in July 2022, in their Mind the Gap webinar series, on designing stepped wedge trials with continuous recruitment. This seminar included the work from the paper “Optimal design of cluster randomised trials with continuous recruitment and prospective baseline period” as well as other work from the Fellowship. Details, slides and video link are here: https://prevention.nih.gov/education-training/methods-mind-gap/designing-stepped-wedge-trials-continuous-recruitment.

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Prof Richard Hooper

Area of study

Methods

Fellowship level

Senior

Year awarded

2019

Host university

Blizard Institute, School of Medicine & Dentistry
Queen Mary University of London
Richard is a medical statistician with more than 25 years of experience in health services research. His research interests centre on innovative clinical trial design, and in particular stepped-wedge trials and related developments. View full bio