Research Scientist Discusses Less Expensive, Patient-Focused Study Design Options with UF Research Community

A research scientist with the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy, Kimberly Case, Ph.D., presented a seminar entitled “Innovative Study Designs and Methods for Behavioral Interventions to Improve Health” at the Dental Science Building on Thursday, April 24. The seminar covered several new techniques for designing studies that are not only less expensive but also more patient-focused.

Some recommendations included implementing aspects of game design in health interventions and using a type of factorial design that allows researchers to tease out which interventions are necessary and which ones should be eliminated because they were either ineffective or counterproductive. The seminar was inspired by Case’s recent participation in an NIH workshop on study design in Bethesda, Maryland.

Citing a mantra that occurred in many of the workshop’s presentations, Case explained that “The idea is to fail often, fail early, and fail inexpensively … you want to find out what is working and what isn’t working before you put in that money to that randomized clinical trial.”
Many of the study design ideas would allow for researchers to create pilot studies more inexpensively in order to produce preliminary results that could be used to apply for larger grants and trials.

The seminar, which is available online as part of the CTSI Lecture Series, was presented by the University of Florida Department of Health Outcomes and Policy, the UF Institute for Child Health Policy and the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. For more information, a resource sheet with additional model studies, books and upcoming conferences is available below.

Resource Sheet