The six challenges posed by behavioral RCTs to be discussed are: (1) developing and maintaining active community partnerships; (2) delineating inclusion and exclusion criteria that are flexible for community practice yet appropriate for conducting a RCT; (3) actively engaging in recruitment to meet sample size requirements; (4) increasing retention and minimizing dropout; (5) balancing assessment protocols and utilizing various assessment methods to obtain needed data and limit participant burden; and (6) ensuring treatment fidelity and consistency across sites.
The lead discussant will facilitate the roundtable discussion to assure that different perspectives and methods are highlighted. In addition to the six methodological challenges noted, presenters will link their work on RCTs to the conference theme of achieving equal opportunity, equity and justice. For example, the first discussant will discuss how systems related to child abuse and neglect influence successful participation in trauma-focused clinical trials. The second discussant will discuss how current and former prisoners are often faced with social stigma and how stigma and other injustices may influence participation in RCTs. Lastly, the third discussant will discuss the use of cognitive behavioral therapy with underserved populations, including a current NIMH RCT with unemployed persons with social anxiety. Participants will learn some current research method and strategies being used in behavioral RCTs, and will have the opportunity to ask questions related to social work practice with these vulnerable populations, and to conducting behavioral RCT with vulnerable populations.