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Open Access Influence of Treatment Preferences on Validity: A Review L'influence des préférences de traitements sur la validité : une étude

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Random assignment of participants to experimental and comparison treatments is believed to enhance the comparability of the study groups on baseline characteristics. Despite its benefits, random assignment presents threats to validity. It ignores participants' treatment preferences. If not accounted for when participants are allocated to treatments, preferences influence enrolment in the study, representativeness of the accrued sample, attrition, adherence to treatment, and outcomes. This methodological article describes the mechanisms underlying the influence of treatment preferences on the external and internal validity of an intervention evaluation study. The authors present empirical evidence to support the points of discussion. They describe alternative research designs that account for treatment preferences, for use in future nursing intervention research.

L'affectation au hasard de participants à des traitements expérimentaux et comparatifs est censé améliorer la comparabilité des groupes d'étude quant aux caractéristiques de base. Malgré ses avantages, l'affectation au hasard entraîne des problèmes de validité. Cette approche ne tient pas compte des préférences de traitements exprimées par les participants. Si l'affectation est faite sans prendre en compte ces préférences, celles-ci influeront sur l'adhésion à l'étude, la représentativité de l'échantillonnage accumulé, l'occurrence d'attrition, l'adhérence au traitement et les résultats. Cet article méthodologique décrit les mécanismes qui sous-tendent l'influence des préférences de traitements sur la validité externe et interne d'une étude d'évaluation d'interventions. Les auteures présentent des preuves empiriques en soutien à leur argumentation et proposent des modèles de recherche alternatifs qui tiennent compte des préférences de traitements à des fins de futures recherches en sciences infirmières.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • CJNR is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal published by the McGill University School of Nursing since 1969. With world-wide circulation, CJNR's primary mandate is to publish original nursing research that develops basic knowledge for the discipline and examines the application of the knowledge in practice. Research related to education and history is also welcomed, as are methodological, theoretical, and review papers that advance nursing science. Letters or commentaries about published articles are encouraged. Learn more.
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