A methodological review of non-therapeutic intervention trials employing cluster randomization, 1979-1989

Int J Epidemiol. 1990 Dec;19(4):795-800. doi: 10.1093/ije/19.4.795.


A methodological review is presented of 16 non-therapeutic intervention trials published over the last decade which have randomized intact clusters rather than individuals in treatment groups. Each of the trials was surveyed as to the information supplied on six methodological criteria. Although there is increasing recognition of the methodological issues associated with cluster randomization, many investigators are still not aware of the impact of this design on sample size requirements and analysis considerations. Investigators are urged to publish the cluster-specific event rates observed in their trials as a guide for the planning of future studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis*
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Research Design