PBG Healthcare Consulting
PBG Healthcare Consulting is a cross-disciplinary, graduate student run organization at the University of Pennsylvania, aspiring to address the challenges and obstacles facing the extended healthcare industry. From September until December 2015, PBG’s team consisting of- Thomas Bebee, Taneesha Chawla, Sowmya Jain, Maria Fasolino, and Hannah Richter-worked to to provide a comprehensive evaluation of potential ethically and empirically sound approaches to addressing the control group challenge in every context in which FXBVillage Model is launched. To achieve this PBG investigated strategies used by other organizations, examined alternatives to randomized control trials, and recommended revisions to the household questionnaire with a focus primarily on finance/savings and education.
Alternative approach to randomized control trials (RCT)
PBG investigated three main alternatives to RCT: 1) concurrent cohort study in which a test cohort is compared to a group that does not receive intervention during the same period of time
2) historical cohort in which the test cohort is compared to cohort previously evaluated or 3)
Before-and after study in which outcome measures at the end of intervention are compared to baseline measures of the test cohort. PBG recommends the implementation of a parallel concurrent cohort study. This method allows for comparison between the test group and control group during the life cycle of the intervention. The study can be designed with “intent to treat,” meaning that non-beneficiaries will eventually become beneficiaries. This also provides incentivization for non-beneficiaries to remain active in the evaluation process, even though they are not receiving aid for the initial portion of the intervention.
Strategies for data collection & analysis
Efforts should be made to shorten the survey, in addition to tailoring questions so as to identify what is most impactful in the particular community. Data collected from previous FXB Villages can be used to determine metrics that have regularly yielded statistically significant or relevant results. Alternatively, secondary analysis of global data sets can be used to inform best areas for intervention in a particular location. Furthermore, implementation of a bookkeeping system, in which participants can enter in financial and medical data, would allow for more accurate reporting of data.