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Cluster randomised trials for evaluating school-based interventions to improve physical health, mental health and behavioural outcomes in pupils

Kitty Parker (student)

Supervisors: Dr Obioha Ukoumunne, Dr Michael NunnsDr ZhiMin Xiao, Professor Tamsin Ford

The PhD is on statistical aspects of the design, conduct and data analysis of cluster randomised controlled trials in health research. Cluster randomised trials are studies in which clusters of individuals are allocated to the trial arms and outcomes are measured on participants associated with those clusters. The clusters may be areas (e.g. villages), organisations (e.g. hospitals), institutions (e.g. workplaces) or professionals (e.g. general practitioners).

Trials in which clusters rather than individual people are randomised have unique methodological considerations, for example the need to consider the correlation between the responses of participants from the same cluster. The aim of this PhD is to review the characteristics of recent cluster randomised controlled trials, identify current methodological challenges in the area and develop and compare statistical approaches for addressing these.

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