Skip to main content

Table 2 Expertise-based design methodology and related reporting (n = 43 unless otherwise stated)

From: A systematic review of the use of an expertise-based randomised controlled trial design

  Number Percentage
Expertise-based design type   
 Pure 38 88
 Hybrid 3 7
 Unclear 2 5
Name used (n = 24)   
 Expertise-based 2 8
 Double randomisation 2 8
 Randomised to surgeon 2 8
 Non-randomised surgeon design 1 4
 Randomised-surgeon 1 4
 Surgeon-randomised 2 8
 None 15 63
Reporting of expertise-based design in abstract   
 Design name 6 14
 Deliverers of interventions stated to be different 9 21
 Details regarding health professionals delivering one intervention 7 16
 Details regarding health professional delivering both interventions 6 14
 No details 15 35
Reported advantages (n = 20)   
 Ensuring intervention was delivered by someone with expertise to avoid criticism of the study 2 5
 Balance of health professionals (e.g., interest, commitment, and prior knowledge of intervention) 4 9
 Randomisation of health professional ‘consistent with efficacy trial’ 1 2
 Following preference will reduce non-compliance 1 2
 Using randomisation of health professional strengthens generalisability of findings 1 2
 Eliminates learning of the intervention 3 7
 Eliminates ethical concerns with intervention deliverer not doing what they would do outside of the trial 1 2
 Delivery of intervention maximised (and may reduce adverse events) 1 2
 Ensures experience in control group 1 2
 Reduces cross-over between group compared with conventional study 2 5
 Avoid non-compliance with allocation because of non-familiarity 1 2
 Health professionals delivering their preferred intervention 1 2
 Following usual practice reduces non-compliance with allocation 1 2
Reported disadvantages (n = 9)   
 Health professionals delivering interventions may not be representative of practice 1 2
 Health professionals delivering interventions may not be balanced (e.g., motivation and prior experience) unless selected 4 9
 Delivery may vary in other ways between groups because of different health professionals delivering the interventions 2 5
 Disagreement between recruiter and health professional delivering the intervention regarding eligibility led to the intervention not being performed in some cases 1 2
 Addition of new intervention and deliverer may create expectation bias 1 2
Allocation of intervention deliverers   
 Randomised 8 19
 Usual practice 5 12
 Preference 4 9
 Defined by research question 1 2
 Not stated 25 58
Criteria for delivering intervention 1   
 Number of prior cases 2 4
 Number of years of experience and prior cases 1 2
 Number of years of experience and training in intervention 1 2
 ‘Qualified’ intervention deliverer 1 2
 Training of therapy and group supervision 1 2
 Profession qualification 3 6
 Prior training and experience of intervention 1 2
 Trained in delivering intervention 4 8
 Recommendation by colleagues as expert 1 2
 Experience of working with patient group 1 2
 Willingness to learn new intervention 1 2
 Without prior experience of intervention (training then provided) 1 2
 None (training/supervision provided as part of the study) 3 7
 Not stated 22 51
Criteria for delivering intervention 2   
 Number of years of experience and specific outcome levels to be achieved 1 2
 Years of experience 1 2
 Number of years of experience and prior cases 1 2
 Recommendation by colleagues as expert 1 2
 Experience of working with patient group 1 2
 Professional qualification 2 4
 Preference and no training in alternative intervention 1 2
 Willingness to learn new intervention 1 2
 Interest in patient group 1 2
 None (trained as part of the study) 2 5
 None stated 31 72
 Criteria provided for both intervention 1 and 2 deliverers 12 28
Number of health professionals delivering intervention 1   
 Reported 30 69
 Median (interquartile range), range 6 (2–12), 1–58
Number of health professionals delivering intervention 2   
 Fully reported 23 53
 Median (interquartile range), range 5 (2–19), 1–63