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Choosing a control group in effectiveness trials of behavioral drug abuse treatments.

Effectiveness trials are an important step in the scientific process of developing and evaluating behavioral treatments. The focus on effectiveness research presents a different set of requirements on the research design when compared with efficacy studies. The choice of a control condition has many implications for a clinical trial's internal and external validity. The purpose of this article was to provide a discussion of the issues involved in choosing a control group for effectiveness trials of behavioral interventions in substance abuse treatment. The authors provide a description of four trial designs and a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Pubmed ID: 19553062


  • Brigham GS
  • Feaster DJ
  • Wakim PG
  • Dempsey CL


Journal of substance abuse treatment

Publication Data

December 27, 2009

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: 1K23 DA021512
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: K23 DA021512
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: K23 DA021512-02
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: U10 DA013732-06
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: U10 DA013732-07
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: U10 DA013732-08
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: U10 DA013732-09
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: U10 DA13720
  • Agency: NIDA NIH HHS, Id: U10 DA13732

Mesh Terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Control Groups
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Research Design
  • Substance-Related Disorders