The balanced incomplete block design is not suitable for the evaluation of complex interventions

J. Trietsch, P. Leffers, B. van Steenkiste, R. Grol, T. van der Weijden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: In quality of care research, the balanced incomplete block (BIB) design is regularly claimed to have been used when evaluating complex interventions. In this article, we reflect on the appropriateness of using this design for evaluating complex interventions.

Study Design and Setting: Literature study using PubMed and handbooks.

Results: After studying various articles on health services research that claim to have applied the BIB and the original methodological literature on this design, it became clear that the applied method is in fact not a BIB design.

Conclusion: We conclude that the use of this design is not suited for evaluating complex interventions. We stress that, to prevent improper use of terms, more attention should be paid to proper referencing of the original methodological literature. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1298
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume67
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Keywords

  • Research methodology
  • Evaluation studies
  • Primary care
  • Health care evaluation mechanisms
  • Quality of health care
  • Epidemiologic research design
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • TEST ORDERING PERFORMANCE
  • PRIMARY-CARE
  • IMPLEMENTATION
  • STRATEGY

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