Prevention Science

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 31–49 | Cite as

The Value of Interrupted Time-Series Experiments for Community Intervention Research

  • Anthony Biglan
  • Dennis Ary
  • Alexander C. Wagenaar


Greater use of interrupted time-series experiments is advocated for community intervention research. Time-series designs enable the development of knowledge about the effects of community interventions and policies in circumstances in which randomized controlled trials are too expensive, premature, or simply impractical. The multiple baseline time-series design typically involves two or more communities that are repeatedly assessed, with the intervention introduced into one community at a time. It is particularly well suited to initial evaluations of community interventions and the refinement of those interventions. This paper describes the main features of multiple baseline designs and related repeated-measures time-series experiments, discusses the threats to internal validity in multiple baseline designs, and outlines techniques for statistical analyses of time-series data. Examples are given of the use of multiple baseline designs in evaluating community interventions and policy changes.

interrupted time-series experiments time-series analysis multiple baseline designs community interventions 


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Biglan
    • 1
  • Dennis Ary
    • 1
  • Alexander C. Wagenaar
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Community Interventions on ChildrearingOregon Research InstituteEugene
  2. 2.School of Public HealthUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis

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