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Randomized Controlled TrialsDesign and Implementation for Community-Based Psychosocial Interventions$
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Phyllis Solomon, Mary M. Cavanaugh, and Jeffrey Draine

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333190

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333190.001.0001

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Developing Conceptual Foundations for Randomized Controlled Trials

Developing Conceptual Foundations for Randomized Controlled Trials

Chapter:
(p.80) 4 Developing Conceptual Foundations for Randomized Controlled Trials
Source:
Randomized Controlled Trials
Author(s):

Phyllis Solomon

Mary M. Cavanaugh

Jeffrey Draine

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333190.003.0004

Chapter 4 reviews the central role of conceptual frameworks in RCTs. The purpose of the conceptual framework in an RCT is to provide a system of ideas for understanding how an intervention is believed to lead to the outcomes. The conceptual framework defines the potential effectiveness of the intervention in terms of activities that are thought to produce change, in what context, and toward what outcome. Theory provides guidance in shaping hypotheses and formulating research questions. Theories may help define mediator and/or moderator effects among concepts, and can enrich the contribution of RCT research to social science. Overall, the rigor and strength of any empirical research is based on the quality of the conceptual framework and its applicability to the service setting.

Keywords:   conceptualization, theory, research questions, mediator, moderator, hypotheses

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