Question

How do I address non-adherence in the design of an adaptive intervention?

Answer

First, adaptive interventions cannot be “analyzed,” which is why we struck the word “analysis” in the FAQ. An adaptive intervention is not a research study. Rather, an adaptive intervention is a set of decision rules used to guide sequential, intervention decision making by clinicians. Second, adaptive interventions should be designed to address non-adherence, since this is a common contingency in actual practice settings.

The design of a high-quality adaptive intervention will include a contingency plan for non-adherence. Note that, as with missing data in a tailoring variable that is part of an adaptive intervention, non-adherence is not a statistical challenge; rather, it is a clinical challenge. Thus, non-adherence is not something we fix statistically; rather, non-adherence is something we can expect to happen, and plan for with good adaptive intervention design.

More Frequently Asked Questions: Adaptive Interventions

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