How many therapists? Practical guidance on investigating therapist effects in randomized controlled trials for eating disorders
Center for Health Policy and Research; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Medical Subject Headings
Eating Disorders; Psychotherapy
Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Public Health
OBJECTIVE: An important question in implementation/dissemination research is whether the efficacy of a given treatment varies in part based on the therapist delivering the treatment. This study sought to provide practical guidance to researchers in the field of eating disorders for building measurement of therapist effects into the design of a typical, relatively small randomized controlled trial (RCT).
METHOD: Using assumptions based on past trials of eating disorder treatments, Monte Carlo simulations were used to examine 12 different scenarios based on crossing the number of therapists (between two and five) and the estimated therapist effect size (small, medium, and large). Patient sample size and study design were held constant.
RESULTS: There was reasonable power (>/=70%) to detect the therapist effect with three or four therapists and a large effect size.
DISCUSSION: Several practical implications for testing therapist effects in RCT are discussed. (c) 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2012.
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Citation: Int J Eat Disord. 2012 Jul;45(5):670-6. doi: 10.1002/eat.22009. Epub 2012 Mar 12. Link to article on publisher's site