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Study design

Section edited by Demosthenes Panagiotakos

This section considers manuscripts that investigate how choices of research methodology and study design can impact study results, including research participation and study outcomes.

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  1. Content type: Study protocol

    Placebo effects are mediated by expectancy, which is highly influenced by psychosocial factors of a treatment context. These factors are difficult to standardize. Furthermore, dedicated placebo research often ...

    Authors: Bjoern Horing, Nathan D. Newsome, Paul Enck, Sabarish V. Babu and Eric R. Muth

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:84

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  2. Content type: Research article

    A systematic review on the use of incentives to promote questionnaire return in clinical trials suggest they are effective, but not all studies have sufficient funds to use them. Promising an incentive once da...

    Authors: Pollyanna Hardy, Jennifer L. Bell and Peter Brocklehurst

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:82

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  3. Content type: Research article

    Action research (AR) and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are usually considered to be theoretically and practically incompatible. However, we argue that their respective strengths and weaknesses can be com...

    Authors: Karen Day, Timothy W. Kenealy and Nicolette F. Sheridan

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:70

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  4. Content type: Research article

    Given the worldwide proliferation of cellphones, this paper examines their potential use for the surveillance of non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors in a Middle Eastern country.

    Authors: Abla M. Sibai, Lilian A. Ghandour, Rawan Chaaban and Ali H. Mokdad

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:64

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  5. Content type: Research article

    The Drug-Taking Confidence Questionnaire evaluates a drug user’s confidence in his or her ability to resist the urge to consume psychoactive substances in high-risk situations. This study’s objective was to de...

    Authors: Selene Cordeiro Vasconcelos, Everton Botelho Sougey, Iracema da Silva Frazão, Nigel Ernest Turner, Vânia Pinheiro Ramos and Murilo Duarte da Costa Lima

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:55

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  6. Content type: Research article

    This study aimed to characterise the factors relating to participation in a postal follow-up study in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal individuals, given the need to quantify potential biases from loss to follow-...

    Authors: Lina Gubhaju, Emily Banks, Rona Macniven, Grace Joshy, Bridgette J. McNamara, Adrian Bauman and Sandra J. Eades

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:53

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  7. Content type: Technical advance

    An increasing number of qualitative evidence syntheses papers are found in health care literature. Many of these syntheses use a strictly exhaustive search strategy to collect articles, mirroring the standard ...

    Authors: Charlotte Benoot, Karin Hannes and Johan Bilsen

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:21

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  8. Content type: Research article

    It is well recognized that treatment effects may not be homogeneous across the study population. Subgroup analyses constitute a fundamental step in the assessment of evidence from confirmatory (Phase III) clin...

    Authors: Julien Tanniou, Ingeborg van der Tweel, Steven Teerenstra and Kit C. B. Roes

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:20

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  9. Content type: Research article

    Inefficient experimental designs are common in animal-based biomedical research, wasting resources and potentially leading to unreplicable results. Here we illustrate the intrinsic statistical power of split-p...

    Authors: Michael Walker, Carole Fureix, Rupert Palme, Jonathan A. Newman, Jamie Ahloy Dallaire and Georgia Mason

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2016 16:11

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  10. Content type: Research article

    With the increase of clinical trial costs during the last decades, the design of feasibility studies has become an essential process to reduce avoidable and costly protocol amendments. This design includes tim...

    Authors: Iñaki Soto-Rey, Benjamin Trinczek, Yannick Girardeau, Eric Zapletal, Nadir Ammour, Justin Doods, Martin Dugas and Fleur Fritz

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2015 15:44

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  11. Content type: Research article

    Informed consent is the foundation of the ethical conduct of health research. Obtaining informed consent may unwittingly interfere with the data collected in research studies, particularly if they concern sens...

    Authors: Lambert Felix, Patrick Keating and Jim McCambridge

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2015 15:41

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  12. Content type: Research article

    Survey research in healthcare is an important tool to collect information about healthcare delivery, service use and overall issues relating to quality of care. Unfortunately, physicians are often a group with...

    Authors: Ceara Tess Cunningham, Hude Quan, Brenda Hemmelgarn, Tom Noseworthy, Cynthia A Beck, Elijah Dixon, Susan Samuel, William A Ghali, Lindsay L Sykes and Nathalie Jetté

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2015 15:32

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  13. Content type: Research article

    Low participation rates reduce effective sample size, statistical power and can increase risk for selection bias. Previous research suggests that offering choice of participation mode can improve participation...

    Authors: Naomi Heijmans, Jan van Lieshout and Michel Wensing

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2015 15:29

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  14. Content type: Research article

    Effective strategies for contacting and recruiting study participants are critical in conducting clinical research. In this study, we conducted two sequential randomized controlled trials of mail- and telephon...

    Authors: Victor D Dinglas, Minxuan Huang, Kristin A Sepulveda, Mariela Pinedo, Ramona O Hopkins, Elizabeth Colantuoni and Dale M Needham

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2015 15:5

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  15. Content type: Research article

    General Practitioners (GPs) respond poorly to postal surveys. Consequently there is potential for reduced data quality and bias in the findings. In general population surveys, response to postal questionnaires...

    Authors: Elizabeth Cottrell, Edward Roddy, Trishna Rathod, Elaine Thomas, Mark Porcheret and Nadine E Foster

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2015 15:3

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  16. Content type: Research article

    Controlling bias is key to successful randomized controlled trials for behaviour change. Bias can be generated at multiple points during a study, for example, when participants are allocated to different group...

    Authors: Philippe J Giabbanelli and Rik Crutzen

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:130

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  17. Content type: Research article

    Focus groups are commonly used to explore participants’ experiences in health and social care research. Although it is suggested that having demographically homogenous groups may help put participants at ease,...

    Authors: Nan Greenwood, Theresa Ellmers and Jess Holley

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:107

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  18. Content type: Research article

    Paper questionnaires are a common means to collect self-reported information in population-based epidemiological studies. Over the past decades, the response rates to epidemiological studies have been decreasi...

    Authors: Elisa Flüß, Christine M Bond, Gareth T Jones and Gary J Macfarlane

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:104

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  19. Content type: Technical advance

    In 2012 mobile phone numbers were included into the ongoing New South Wales Population Health Survey (NSWPHS) using an overlapping dual-frame design. Previously in the NSWPHS the sample was selected using rand...

    Authors: Margo L Barr, Raymond A Ferguson, Phil J Hughes and David G Steel

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2014 14:102

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