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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Generalizability of randomized trial results to target populations: Design and analysis possibilities

TitleGeneralizability of randomized trial results to target populations: Design and analysis possibilities
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsStuart, EA, Ackerman, B, Westreich, D
JournalRes Soc Work Pract
Volume28
Pagination532-537
Date PublishedJul
ISBN Number1049-7315 (Print)1049-7315
Accession Number30034203
KeywordsEvidence-Based Practice, literature review
Abstract

Randomized trials play an important role in estimating the effect of a policy or social work program in a given population. While most trial designs benefit from strong internal validity, they often lack external validity, or generalizability, to the target population of interest. In other words, one can obtain an unbiased estimate of the study sample average treatment effect (SATE) from a randomized trial; however, this estimate may not equal the target population average treatment effect (TATE) if the study sample is not fully representative of the target population. This paper provides an overview of existing strategies to assess and improve upon the generalizability of randomized trials, both through statistical methods and study design, as well as recommendations on how to implement these ideas in social work research.

PMCID

PMC6049838