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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2006 Jan-Feb;13(1):16-23. Epub 2005 Oct 12.

The use and interpretation of quasi-experimental studies in medical informatics.

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Division of Healthcare Outcomes Research, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 100 N. Greene Street, Lower Level, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Quasi-experimental study designs, often described as nonrandomized, pre-post intervention studies, are common in the medical informatics literature. Yet little has been written about the benefits and limitations of the quasi-experimental approach as applied to informatics studies. This paper outlines a relative hierarchy and nomenclature of quasi-experimental study designs that is applicable to medical informatics intervention studies. In addition, the authors performed a systematic review of two medical informatics journals, the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) and the International Journal of Medical Informatics (IJMI), to determine the number of quasi-experimental studies published and how the studies are classified on the above-mentioned relative hierarchy. They hope that future medical informatics studies will implement higher level quasi-experimental study designs that yield more convincing evidence for causal links between medical informatics interventions and outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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