In the evaluation phase, the efficacy/effectiveness of the optimized intervention identified in the optimization phase is compared to a suitable comparator.
Commonly, the evaluation phase consists of a standard RCT comparing the optimized intervention to a suitable control or comparison condition. However, there is no requirement to use a two-arm RCT in this phase – the choice of experimental design should be informed by the research question.
As Figure 1 shows, there is another decision point immediately after the evaluation phase. If the RCT indicates that the optimized intervention is not effective, then it is necessary to return to the preparation phase and reconsider the conceptual model or the approach to intervention. If the RCT indicates that the optimized intervention is effective, implementation can begin.
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...
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