Randomized Controlled Trials of Psychological Interventions


Course Objective

The aim of this course is to have an understanding of the major
methodological issues in designing a randomized controlled trial (RCT)
of a psychological intervention in mental health care. Students should
be able to identify strengths and weaknesses of the designs of published
trials and be able to design a trial themselves.

Course Content

The course focuses on: the research questions which can be answered by
a RCT, types of RCTs, design of a RCT according to the CONSORT statement
(e.g. phrasing of the research question, choice of control group,
blinding, randomization, power analysis, in- and exclusion criteria,
measuring outcomes, treatment integrity),analyzing and presenting data
(including how to deal with missing data), and economical analyses.
Furthermore, we discuss medical ethical issues in performing a trial as
well as practical aspects of carrying out a RCT.

Teaching Methods

There are lectures twice a week. The lectures consists of theory but
there are also small assignments as well as presentations by PhD
students running a RCT.

Method of Assessment

There is an exam with open-end questions. Students also have to write a
research proposal of a RCT (pre-specified format). The exam weighs 2/3
and the paper 1/3 of the final grade. Both the exam and the paper have
to be sufficient (5.5 or higher).


Everitt B.S. & Wessely S. (2008; 2nd edition) Clinical trials in
psychiatry. New York Oxford University press; journal papers (handed out
in class).

General Information

Course Code P_MRANCON
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. A. van Straten
Examiner prof. dr. A. van Straten
Teaching Staff prof. dr. A. van Straten
dr. A.M. Kleiboer

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Practical