Short course on Mixed Model Trajectory Analysis

Randomized clinical trials are considered by many to be the only gold standard for testing treatments.  Yet, they cannot be used when funding is limited, patient populations are small and/ or highly heterogeneous, or for pilot studies, all of which are common barriers for conducting clinical trials in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).  This workshop will introduce participants to the rapidly evolving idiographic clinical trials (ICTs) methods which overcome these barriers for conducting rigorous clinical trials in small samples.  This approach couples long-established within-subject experimental designs with recent adaptations of rigorous statistics (trajectory analysis and state-space modeling).  Presentation of these methods will be illustrated using recent studies with AAC outcomes.  References that outline the methods in an introductory manner and software code for conducting the analyses will also be provided to workshop attendees.

Ty Ridenour

The presenter, Dr. Ty A. Ridenour, is a Developmental Behavioral Epidemiologist at RTI International.  His career-long interest in applied longitudinal statistical analysis includes adapting traditional hierarchical linear modeling statistical analysis for longitudinal, within-person clinical trials using small samples.  Dr. Ridenour’s NIH funded research has frequently focused on translating and adapting data analytic techniques and other methodologies for practitioner uses.  Recent studies of his have demonstrated and highlighted the relative strengths and weaknesses of distinct analytic techniques for detecting change over time within persons, including trajectory analysis, time series analysis, and dynamic factor analysis.  He has utilized these techniques with a range of clinical studies in settings where randomized clinical trials were not feasible, including enhancing verbal communication skills of children with autism and mental handicap, use of tacrolimus in organ transplantation, enhancing control of blood sugar in adolescents with diabetes using web-based monitoring, and developing wheel chair technologies for veterans who sustained paraplegia or quadriplegia.  Dr. Ridenour’s content area of interest is etiology of substance abuse and other chronic behavior problems.

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