How can I estimate how long my trials will take?
When estimating how long your trials will take, it may help to consider the following:
- How long will it take to conduct the intervention itself?
- What is the volume of the stream of potential research participants? In some studies, such as school-based projects, potential research participants may be readily available in large quantities all at once (e.g. every fall), making it possible to conduct experiments relatively quickly. In other studies, participants may “trickle” in slowly, and there may not be much that can be done to increase the volume of the trickle. In this case, the length of time it will take to recruit enough participants may be a limiting factor.
- How far off in the future is the horizon on the outcome? Some interventions can be evaluated fairly quickly; for example, whether or not a smoking cessation intervention has been successful can often be evaluated in a month or less. By contrast, other interventions can take much longer to evaluate; an intervention to prevent a second heart attack may require observing participants for years before conclusions can reasonably be drawn.
All Frequently Asked Questions
Do you see MOST intersecting with implementation science, and if so, how?
Can I expect reviewers of grant proposals to understand MOST? If not, how should I handle this in the application? There is not enough room to provide a lot of background.
I work in the prevention field, in which the horizon on the outcome is very far away. How can I optimize under these circumstances? It seems like it would take decades.
Should I apply for funding to support all three phases of MOST?
How can I find out what other studies using MOST have been conducted in my area?
How can I obtain the background I need to write a grant proposal involving MOST?
Whether you are looking for additional support as you prepare a grant proposal involving MOST or practical information helpful in managing your optimization trial, this section provides resources for a deeper dive into intervention optimization.
REDCap with Most
The goal of this manual is to show how one might setup a REDCap project to support a research study with multiple conditions, such as factorial experiments common in the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) framework.
Establishing a conceptual model and understanding optimization
Sometimes the conceptual model is not a model of a health behavior per se, but a model of maintaining treatment fidelity, promoting adherence or compliance, or the like. The conceptual model is explained in more...
Common misconceptions about factorial experiments
A factorial experiment is essentially an RCT with a lot of experimental conditions, and therefore is extremely difficult to power.
Informal introduction to factorial experimental designs
The purpose of this page is to clarify some concepts, notation, and terminology related to factorial experimental designs, and to compare and contrast factorial experiments to randomized controlled trials (RCTs). A more in-depth introduction can...
LET’S STAY IN TOUCH
Join the cadio Mailing List
Keep up to date with the latest news, events, online courses, and resources from cadio.