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Evaluating Health PromotionPractice and Methods$
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Margaret Thorogood and Yolande Coombes

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199569298

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569298.001.0001

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Evaluating interventions: experimental study designs in health promotion

Evaluating interventions: experimental study designs in health promotion

Chapter:
(p.42) Chapter 4 Evaluating interventions: experimental study designs in health promotion
Source:
Evaluating Health Promotion
Author(s):

Annie Britton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569298.003.0004

An experimental study is the standard method for evaluating the effectiveness of a health or medical intervention. In such a study, a group of people will be exposed to an intervention and then compared with another group (a control group) who have not been exposed, or with a group who had a different intervention. There are situations in which an experimental approach may not be feasible, ethical, or practical, but, when possible, well-designed controlled experiments provide reliable evidence on the effectiveness of interventions and inform the policies and practice of health promotion. This chapter discusses different experimental designs, explores their strengths and weaknesses, and determines how the most appropriate design might be chosen in light of the many unique features of health promotion interventions. It shows that well-conducted randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are a valid and important way of evaluating health promotion interventions.

Keywords:   health promotion, experimental designs, health intervention, randomized controlled trials

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