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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
and
Institute of Medical Biostatistics
Epidemiology and Informatics
University Medical Center
Mainz, Germany
eva.lorenz@uni-mainz.de
Sabine Gabrysch
Institute of Public Health
University of Heidelberg
Heidelberg, Germany
sabine.gabrysch@uni-heidelberg.de
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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