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J Health Psychol. 2019 Jun 10:1359105319855120. doi: 10.1177/1359105319855120. [Epub ahead of print]

Strengthening behavioral clinical trials with online qualitative research methods.

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University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada.


Qualitative methods are integral to the systematic development of effective health behavioral interventions, as noted in recent translational models, such as the Obesity-Related Behavioral Intervention Trials model. To our knowledge, however, no scholarly literature describes how online qualitative research methods can be used to benefit the development and conduct of behavioral clinical trials. We emphasize the value of qualitative methodologies to behavioral clinical trial research more broadly and provide an introductory overview of online qualitative research methods. We highlight the specific affordances of these methods in maximizing the quality of behavioral clinical trials as well as note their potential limitations. Finally, we argue that online qualitative research methods ought to be incorporated in behavioral trial development and call for future research in this area.


chronic illness; health behavior; methodology; qualitative methods; randomized controlled trial


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