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Psychol Methods. 2010 Jun;15(2):124-44. doi: 10.1037/a0017736.

Enhancing the scientific credibility of single-case intervention research: randomization to the rescue.

Author information

1
Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA. tomkat@education.wisc.edu

Abstract

In recent years, single-case designs have increasingly been used to establish an empirical basis for evidence-based interventions and techniques in a variety of disciplines, including psychology and education. Although traditional single-case designs have typically not met the criteria for a randomized controlled trial relative to conventional multiple-participant experimental designs, there are procedures that can be adopted to create a randomized experiment in this class of experimental design. Our two major purposes in writing this article were (a) to review the various types of single-case design that have been and can be used in psychological and educational intervention research and (b) to incorporate randomized experimental schemes into these designs, thereby improving them so that investigators can draw more valid conclusions from their research. For each traditional single-case design type reviewed, we provide illustrations of how various forms of randomization can be introduced into the basic design structure. We conclude by recommending that traditional single-case intervention designs be transformed into more scientifically credible randomized single-case intervention designs whenever the research conditions under consideration permit.

PMID:
20515235
DOI:
10.1037/a0017736
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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