Short course

Foundations in Cluster Randomised Trials

Start date
22nd - 26th April 2024 (9am - 3pm)
Duration
3-day or 5-day
Time commitment
18 hours (3-day); 30 (5-day)
Mode
Online
Cost
£300 (3-day) £450 (5-day)
Subject
Cluster randomised trials
Level
CPD
Credit
None
Assessment
None

This short 3-day or 5-day on-line course will provide training in the design, conduct and analysis of cluster randomized trials (CRTs) and stepped-wedge cluster randomized trials (SW-CRTs). Delivered by faculty of the University of Birmingham including Karla Hemming, James Martin and Sam Watson. There will also be a guest speaker who will give an overview and insights to practical, logistical and ethical issues that are faced when running large scale cluster randomised trials.

These trials are increasingly used to evaluate interventions that improve care delivery and study strategies for implementing efficacious interventions in routine clinical practice. They require specific methods of design and statistical analysis. This course will include the rationale for using these designs, specific design issues, the randomisation process, practical issues in managing these trials, and trial reporting and interpretation. Over an optional two days, students also have the opportunity to learn about sample size calculations and analytical methods. Principals will be illustrated using case studies of stepped-wedge and cluster randomized trials.

Please contact k.hemming@bham.ac.uk for more information

Academic level:

This course will address the training needs of PhD-prepared researchers and implementation scientists, as well as post-doctoral fellows and other trainees and other scientific team members such as project coordinators in clinical trials.  Some of the sessions are specifically targeted at statisticians, methodologists, and researchers with an interest in more complex statistical topics.

Dates of the course:

22nd - 26th April 2024

9am - 3pm each day

Place availability:

40 places

Course content:

This short course provides essential foundations in the design, conduct and analysis of cluster randomized trials and stepped-wedge cluster randomized trials. The course is split into two core components. The first component is run over three days and is designed to be accessible to both statisticians and non-statisticians. The second component continues for a further two days, focusing on statistical aspects.

Both courses are run over a series of mini modules. Each module contains several pre-recorded lectures; and is followed by a practical session where students are provided with an opportunity to implement the skills they have learnt. There are also question and answer sessions and faculty time (both recorded and made available after the event). All of the material is recorded and will be accessible for 3 weeks before the course runs and for 3 weeks after. There is some optional pre-course reading material for those who are keen; as well as key references. There are daily question and answer sessions with the course faculty – where you may bring your own trial questions.

After participants have completed the course there are also several modules available that have not been included in the main course material (for example, a module on data monitoring, and some extra practical sessions).

Student participation:

Students have the option of enrolling on either a 3-day or 5-day course. The 3-day course is run from Monday to Wednesday (half days) and is accessible and relevant to statisticians and non-statisticians. The 5-day course includes an extra two half days (Thursday and Friday) and continues on to more statistical topics such as sample size justification and analysis.

The course will cover:

  • Key concepts of cluster randomized trials (also known as group randomized trials), including measures of between-cluster variation and the rationale for cluster randomization
  • Design of cluster randomized trials, including cluster selection and randomization procedures and different design variations such as the parallel cluster randomized trial (CRT), the stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial (SW-CRT) and the cluster randomized cross-over design
  • Data monitoring and reporting.

The 5-day course will additionally cover:

  • Calculation and justification of sample size.
  • Analysis using both cluster-level summaries and individual-level data (random effects models and generalised estimating equations).

Requirements:

Participants should have access to a laptop with internet access (but no statistical software is required for those attending the 3-day course).

Participants should have fundamental training in basic statistics, sources of bias in research designs, and design, conduct and interpretation of individual-level randomized interventional trials in behavioural science/healthcare delivery. Some of the sessions (specified below) are specifically targeted at statisticians, methodologists, and researchers with an interest in more complex statistical topics.

Access to statistical software is ideally required for part of one module on the 5-day course - either Stata or R. For students who do not have access to either Stata or R, arrangements can be made to accommodate on this on request.

How to apply:

Registration is open, you can register for the course using a debit/credit on the university's online shop. The courses have minimum required attendance levels and the University reserves the right to cancel or postpone the course if the minimum required number of delegates has not been achieved for the course.

For enquiries, please complete our enquiry form

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Participants should have fundamental training in basic study designs, sources of bias in research designs, and design, conduct and interpretation of individual-level randomized interventional trials in behavioural science/healthcare delivery. Some of the sessions are specifically targeted at statisticians, methodologists, and researchers with an interest in more complex statistical topics.

Learning outcomes:

The course will cover:

  • Key concepts of cluster randomized trials (also known as group randomized trials), including measures of between-cluster variation and the rationale for cluster randomization (3-day course ).
  • Design of cluster randomized trials, including cluster selection and randomization procedures and different design variations such as the parallel cluster randomized trial (CRT), the stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial (SW-CRT) and the cluster randomized cross-over design. (3-day course).
  • Data monitoring and reporting (3-day course).
  • Calculation and justification of sample size (5-day course).
  • Analysis using both cluster-level summaries and individual-level data (random effects models and generalised estimating equations) (5-day course ).