The Use Of A Modified Random Assignment Design In A Cancer Support Group Intervention Study

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/165878
Category:
Abstract
Type:
Presentation
Title:
The Use Of A Modified Random Assignment Design In A Cancer Support Group Intervention Study
Author(s):
Coward, Doris
Author Details:
Doris Coward, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Texas-Austin School of Nursing, Austin, Texas, USA, email: dcoward@mail.utexas.edu
Abstract:
Research scientists have relied on randomized controlled clinical trials as the "gold standard" for evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention. Randomization is accepted almost without question even in participative behavioral interventions in which subjects are expected to comply with protocols over a period of time and for which long-term outcomes will be monitored. This paper will present arguments why random assignment may be inappropriate when subjects must sustain effort overtime in an intervention trial and when subjects are likely to have a strong preference for one or another treatment group. An alternative approach will be described that may optimize participant motivation by considering subject preferences for a particular treatment group. The application of a modified random assignment design will be evaluated for its effect on recruitment, retention, and interpretation of data obtained in a breast cancer support group intervention study. A pilot project was designed to expand the traditional role of a breast cancer support group by consciously promoting self-transcendence within group sessions and documenting changes in self-transcendence and physical and emotional well-being in support group participants compared to a comparison group. Over an eight-month period, 3 support groups of 8-10 women met for 8 weeks in 90 minute sessions at a Breast Cancer Resource Center. Study subjects completed questionnaires assessing study variables at baseline, within a month of the support group, and 1 year later. Women with recently diagnosed breast cancer responded to study recruitment flyers located in physicians' offices and the Breast Cancer Resource Center. Of the 48 women inquiring about the project, 41 were entered into the study (24 in experimental and 17 in comparison groups). Women were informed of the study and of researcher's reasons for wanting to randomly assign them to a group. They then were told that if they had a strong preference for one or the other group, their request would be honored. Six women permitted randomly assignment; 3 were randomized to a support group and 3, to the control group. The majority of women had a strong preference for a support group. Only 10 women preferred to be in the comparison group; 4 were placed there later because, for varying reasons, they were unable to attend any group sessions. Two women, who had expressed a strong preference for the support group, quit attending after 1-2 sessions and were dropped from the study. The final sample contained 39 women. Attendance for the 8 sessions for individual women ranged from 270-720 minutes. One of 3 randomized participants was below the group mean in attendance; the others, above the mean. T-tests revealed no differences between groups on background variables such as age, education, cancer treatment, or months since initial diagnosis of breast cancer. Intervention group women had more improved scores on self-transcendence and emotional well-being variables at the end of the sessions than comparison group women, but had significant (.01 level) increases only on one measure of self-transcendence. The small number of randomized subjects precluded comparing their scores on the study variables with scores of non-randomized women. Ways to improve recruitment into the randomized groups are planned for the next study.
Repository Posting Date:
27-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
27-Oct-2011
Conference Host:
Southern Nursing Research Society
Note:
This is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.type.categoryAbstracten_US
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleThe Use Of A Modified Random Assignment Design In A Cancer Support Group Intervention Studyen_GB
dc.contributor.authorCoward, Dorisen_US
dc.author.detailsDoris Coward, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Texas-Austin School of Nursing, Austin, Texas, USA, email: dcoward@mail.utexas.eduen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/165878-
dc.description.abstractResearch scientists have relied on randomized controlled clinical trials as the "gold standard" for evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention. Randomization is accepted almost without question even in participative behavioral interventions in which subjects are expected to comply with protocols over a period of time and for which long-term outcomes will be monitored. This paper will present arguments why random assignment may be inappropriate when subjects must sustain effort overtime in an intervention trial and when subjects are likely to have a strong preference for one or another treatment group. An alternative approach will be described that may optimize participant motivation by considering subject preferences for a particular treatment group. The application of a modified random assignment design will be evaluated for its effect on recruitment, retention, and interpretation of data obtained in a breast cancer support group intervention study. A pilot project was designed to expand the traditional role of a breast cancer support group by consciously promoting self-transcendence within group sessions and documenting changes in self-transcendence and physical and emotional well-being in support group participants compared to a comparison group. Over an eight-month period, 3 support groups of 8-10 women met for 8 weeks in 90 minute sessions at a Breast Cancer Resource Center. Study subjects completed questionnaires assessing study variables at baseline, within a month of the support group, and 1 year later. Women with recently diagnosed breast cancer responded to study recruitment flyers located in physicians' offices and the Breast Cancer Resource Center. Of the 48 women inquiring about the project, 41 were entered into the study (24 in experimental and 17 in comparison groups). Women were informed of the study and of researcher's reasons for wanting to randomly assign them to a group. They then were told that if they had a strong preference for one or the other group, their request would be honored. Six women permitted randomly assignment; 3 were randomized to a support group and 3, to the control group. The majority of women had a strong preference for a support group. Only 10 women preferred to be in the comparison group; 4 were placed there later because, for varying reasons, they were unable to attend any group sessions. Two women, who had expressed a strong preference for the support group, quit attending after 1-2 sessions and were dropped from the study. The final sample contained 39 women. Attendance for the 8 sessions for individual women ranged from 270-720 minutes. One of 3 randomized participants was below the group mean in attendance; the others, above the mean. T-tests revealed no differences between groups on background variables such as age, education, cancer treatment, or months since initial diagnosis of breast cancer. Intervention group women had more improved scores on self-transcendence and emotional well-being variables at the end of the sessions than comparison group women, but had significant (.01 level) increases only on one measure of self-transcendence. The small number of randomized subjects precluded comparing their scores on the study variables with scores of non-randomized women. Ways to improve recruitment into the randomized groups are planned for the next study.en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-27T14:35:37Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-27en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-27T14:35:37Z-
dc.conference.hostSouthern Nursing Research Societyen_US
dc.description.noteThis is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.-
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