Choosing a control group in effectiveness trials of behavioral drug abuse treatments

Gregory S. Brigham, Daniel J. Feaster, Paul G. Wakim, Catherine L. Dempsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Effectiveness trials are an important step in the scientific process of developing and evaluating behavioral treatments. The focus on effectiveness research presents a different set of requirements on the research design when compared with efficacy studies. The choice of a control condition has many implications for a clinical trial's internal and external validity. The purpose of this article was to provide a discussion of the issues involved in choosing a control group for effectiveness trials of behavioral interventions in substance abuse treatment. The authors provide a description of four trial designs and a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-397
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Abuse
  • Clinical
  • Control
  • Design
  • Drug
  • Trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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