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The Stata Journal
Volume 17 Number 2: pp. 503-510

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Covariate-constrained randomization routine for achieving baseline balance in cluster-randomized trials

Eva Lorenz
Institute of Public Health
University of Heidelberg
Heidelberg, Germany
Institute of Medical Biostatistics
Epidemiology and Informatics
University Medical Center
Mainz, Germany
Sabine Gabrysch
Institute of Public Health
University of Heidelberg
Heidelberg, Germany
Abstract.  In cluster-randomized trials, groups or clusters of individuals, rather than individuals themselves, are randomly allocated to intervention or control. In this article, we describe a new command, ccrand, that implements a covariate-constrained randomization procedure for cluster-randomized trials. It can ensure balance of one or more baseline covariates between trial arms by restriction to allocations that meet specified balance criteria. We provide a brief overview of the theoretical background, describe ccrand and its options, and illustrate it using an example.
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