Efficacy and Effectiveness Testing
Posted on November 23, 2011
C. Hendricks Brown (bio) explores methods of testing the efficacy and effectiveness of clinical trials.
We've spent the last 20 or so years of taking and developing methods specifically for what we call efficacy and effectiveness trials. Those are programs that are done through the support of researchers to evaluate interventions. The efficacy trials are ones that are done under more optimal conditions where we're sure that we have a very strong fidelity of delivery of the program.
The effectiveness is done within the setting, such as schools or communities, where there is less control and you allow the variations -- natural variations of the fidelity or adherence to the intervention -- to take place. We're now in a new phase of research and that is what we call implementation research. That is, we let the researchers move aside and the communities and the organizations and institutions are the ones who really take over where the interventions are going to be sitting and lying in those communities.
As that happens, what we have is much less control over the interventions. The level of dosage, the level of exposure of the interventions can vary dramatically. Much more than it is in a traditional research project, but that's real life. So what our questions are is how could researchers help and support to the delivery of really effective interventions in here?
That's what implementation and research is all about. And it's a new phase of research that is really useful to look at and it's going to require new sets of methods that we're going to have to invent in here. So, it's a new phase that people in both qualitative and quantitative sciences can participate in.
Excerpted from an interview with the researcher conducted at the 2011 NHSN Conference held in Miami, FL.
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