Developing a Protocol for Observational Comparative Effectiveness Research

Developing a Protocol for Observational Comparative Effectiveness Research Summary

This User’s Guide is a resource for investigators and stakeholders who develop and review observational comparative effectiveness research protocols. It explains how to (1) identify key considerations and best practices for research design; (2) build a protocol based on these standards and best practices; and (3) judge the adequacy and completeness of a protocol. Eleven chapters cover all aspects of research design, including: developing study objectives, defining and refining study questions, addressing the heterogeneity of treatment effect, characterizing exposure, selecting a comparator, defining and measuring outcomes, and identifying optimal data sources.  Checklists of guidance and key considerations for protocols are provided at the end of each chapter.

The User’s Guide was created by researchers affiliated with AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program, particularly those who participated in AHRQ’s DEcIDE (Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions About Effectiveness) program. Chapters were subject to multiple internal and external independent reviews.  

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