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Design and Analysis of Group-Randomized Trials

Sonnad, Seema PhD

Section Editor(s): Berry, Michael T. Ph.D., FACSM

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: February 1999 - Volume 31 - Issue 2 - p 355
Book Reviews

(University of Michigan Medical Center)

    Design and Analysis of Group-Randomized Trials

    Author: MURRAY, David M., PhD (Univ of Minnesota) Bibliographic Data: (ISBN: 0-19-512036-1, Oxford University Press Inc, 1998, $65.00) Series Title: Monographs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, v. 27, 10 chapters, 467 pages, hard cover Audience 1: Biostatisticians Audience 2: Epidemiologists Other Info: The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

    DESCRIPTION: This book introduces the purpose and history of group randomized trials, then presents design considerations and analytic approaches. It also presents applications of analytic approaches in previously conducted trials. PURPOSE: The stated purpose is to help those involved with group-randomized trials do a better job of planning, reviewing, funding, conducting, analyzing, and interpreting their studies. This objective is met. AUDIENCE: Given the purpose stated, this book is intended for a wide audience, primarily researchers in both academic and non-academic centers, including analysts, graduate students, and evaluation staff involved with the trials. I believe it meets the needs of the middle group well, but may fall short, not in quality, but in detail, for those conducting analyses. Those who make funding or interpretation decisions may find the detail overwhelming. FEATURES: This book flows smoothly and both the table of the contents and the index are helpful in finding topics of specific interest. The analysis section includes information and SAS approaches to analyses being discussed, and the index includes references to SAS procedures and syntax in a distinctive font. Another useful feature is information on the strengths and weaknesses of alternative analytic approaches. ASSESSMENT: This book is an important addition to any public health or medical library. It is well-written and much needed. Too often, researchers conducting group-randomized trials are forced to mix and match information from clinical trials and social sciences literature. Several reviews cited point out the inherent difficulties, listing weakness in design and analysis in many published group-randomization trials. This book provides comprehensive information on the increasingly common and important method of group-randomization. Analysts will need to supplement this book, but it will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in or involved with group-randomized trials. SCORE: Weighted Numerical Score: 92 - ****

    Reviewed by:

    Seema Sonnad, PhD

    (University of Michigan Medical Center)

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    The copyright to the book reviews appearing in MSSE are the property of Doody Publishing, the foremost publisher of reviews of health sciences books. Members of the American College of Sports Medicine have free access to Doody's Review Service through ACSM's home page.

    The ratings are divided into five groups, and each group is assigned one to five stars.

    ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆ 97-100 Exceptional book with nearly flawless execution

    ⋆⋆⋆⋆ 90-96 Outstanding book, with minor problems in execution

    ⋆⋆⋆ 69-89 Very good book, but usually with one or more fairly significant flaws

    ⋆⋆ 47-68 Average book, usually with several flaws (or one major flaw) or significant weakness versus its competition

    ⋆ below 46 Substandard book

    © 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.