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Table 2 Elements of PAR, RCT's, and integrated PAR/RCT

From: Implementation research design: integrating participatory action research into randomized controlled trials

PAR RCT Integrated PAR/RCT Example of PAR/RCT
Collaborative design Externally created, standardized interventions Key elements of intervention are locally implemented based on collaborative discussion Use of site PIs in each unique study site as collaborators with study PIs in intervention design
Internal control External control Joint control Site PIs with local or shared authority
Local applicability Generalizeable Use local findings to inform universal understanding Consider local insights gleaned from the implementation process as data that will form the basis for a general understanding
Acknowledge unique local environments Uniqueness minimized through random assignment Incorporation of local conditions into overarching approaches Address local barriers in intervention implementation
Reveal biases Reduce bias Use bias to form basis of generalizeable understanding Allowing bias into the design may lead to a better understanding of the implementation process.
Reflective process throughout intervention Endpoints/measurement set in advance Time function or endpoints may vary within boundaries
Reflection both within and across sites
Modify endpoints based on results
Incorporate reflection periods into study design.
No comparisons, internal focus Comparisons between arms Comparisons based on 'content analysis' of internal understandings and lessons Use of qualitative methods to probe themes from implementation experiences between sites