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date: 29 November 2022

Randomized Control Trialslocked

Randomized Control Trialslocked

  • Phyllis SolomonPhyllis SolomonPhyllis Solomon, Ph.D., is Professor in the School of Social Policy & Practice and Professor of Social Work in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania She has edited and authored 6 books and has over a 140 peer reviewed publications as well as more than 30 book chapters. She is the recipient of a number of awards including First Placed Research Award from the Society for Social Work and Research, Outstanding Non-Psychiatrist Community Achievement Award given by the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, the Knee/Wittman Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Mental Health Policy and Practice from NASW Foundation, University Provost Award for Ph.D. Mentoring of Doctoral Students. Visiting Scholar, University of Western Ontario, Medical School, Department of Psychiatry; Excellence in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Theory and Practice Award from CareLink Community Support Services; and was the Moses Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College for academic year 2012-2013. She was inducted in the first cohort of American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Her research has been on the forefront of consumer rights and capabilities, having conducted one of the first and most influential studies on consumer provided services.


This entry defines Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) and puts them in an historical context. It provides an understanding of the distinction between efficacy and effectiveness RCTs and explains why effectiveness trials are more relevant to social work interventions. The strengths and limitations of RCTs that use experimental designs are delineated. It discusses the reporting requirements of RCTs by the standards of the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials).. It also presents the controversies of social workers in the use of RCTs.. Current health services research emphasizes evidence-based practices, research on comparative effectiveness, and using dissemination and implementation research to understand the gaps between empirically supported interventions and the services that are offered in routine care. RCTs have emerged as a central methodology in all of these efforts. Social workers, therefore, need to be knowledgeable and engage in these efforts.


  • Ethics and Values
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice

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