Quasi-experimental study designs series—paper 4: uses and value
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Quasi-experimental studies are increasingly used to establish causal relationships in epidemiology and health systems research. Quasi-experimental studies offer important opportunities to increase and improve evidence on causal effects: (1) they can generate causal evidence when randomized controlled trials are impossible; (2) they typically generate causal evidence with a high degree of external validity; (3) they avoid the threats to internal validity that arise when participants in nonblinded experiments change their behavior in response to the experimental assignment to either intervention or control arm (such as compensatory rivalry or resentful demoralization); (4) they are often well suited to generate causal evidence on long-term health outcomes of an intervention, as well as nonhealth outcomes such as economic and social consequences; and (5) they can often generate evidence faster and at lower cost than experiments and other intervention studies.
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