Considering the methodological weaknesses and strengths, would you trust this RCT?
The main weaknesses that came from this randomized controlled trial include the loss of follow up and the inadequate concealing of the information. However, the RCT had significant results, in terms of achieving an above average score for the participants who completed the trials. For this reason, I tend to have trust for the trial, since some of the weaknesses noted can be controlled. For instance, the concealing of information is possible, through informing the professionals on the mandate of the trial, which would increase the effectiveness of the trials.
What are some sources of bias in this study?
One of the common sources of bias is the fact that the assessors were not blind to the various study groups. This increased the chances of revealing part of the information that would have otherwise improved the results from the trial. Others include lack of adequate participants who would expand the values of consideration as well as some of the participants knowing that they belonged to a certain study group.
What strategies did Finn et al. take to increase the validity of the study?
The classification of the study groups ensured that the participants had a common baseline, in addition to concealing all the information regarding the study groups. In order to reduce bias, the researchers also ensured that the assessors and professionals did not have access to the information regarding the study groups. This maximized the contribution of the random approach that the study used to define the sequences of the participants. Lastly, the researchers embarked on an intention-to-treat approach meaning that most of the participants had the motive of receiving medical care from the numerous visits to the professionals. This eliminated the revelation that they were being studies, further improving the validity of the results.