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Methods: Mind the Gap

Webinar Series

Stepped Wedge Cluster Randomized Designs for Disease Prevention Research

July 11, 2018
Monica Taljaard, Ph.D.
Monica Taljaard, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute 

Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Community Medicine
School of Epidemiology and Public
                                            University of Ottawa

View the Webinar

About the Webinar

The stepped wedge cluster randomized design has seen a rapid increase in popularity over the past decade. The stepped wedge is different than the conventional parallel arm cluster randomized design in that all clusters (e.g., communities, schools, or hospitals), rather than only half, receive the intervention.

Furthermore, the order in which they receive the intervention is determined at random, and outcomes are repeatedly observed both before and after implementation of the intervention. The stepped wedge has numerous methodological complexities that need to be considered in its design, analysis, and reporting.

This presentation explains the unique characteristics of the stepped wedge cluster randomized design and its implications for sample size calculation and analysis, and discusses its strengths and weaknesses compared to traditional designs. Emphasis is on application, with examples in disease prevention and health promotion research.

About Monica Taljaard

Monica Taljaard, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and Associate Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. She has a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Western University, and her main research interests are in the design, analysis, and ethics of cluster randomized trials.

As a methodologist with the Ottawa Methods Centre, Dr. Taljaard works with clinicians and researchers from a variety of disciplines and medical specialties in the design and analysis of cluster randomized trials, standard clinical trials, and observational studies. She also supervises M.Sc. and Ph.D. students in Epidemiology and teaches Biostatistics courses at the University of Ottawa.