Interagency Meeting on Subgroup Analysis, 2009

Project Overview

Subgroup analysis, broadly, aims to measure change within and between groups. Subgroups can be characterized by variables that are easier to define such as gender or those less well defined such as risk status. Capturing change related to treatment impacts within and between groups pervades prevention and intervention science. The challenges in designing research to examine subgroups, the analysis of the data and the interpretation of the results are critically important to answer the question that comes up most regularly in policy-relevant research: What works for whom?

Given the recent attention to evidence-based policy decision making and limited federal funds, answering the question of what works for whom becomes critically important for prevention and intervention science. Subgroup analyses can inform the field on how to maximize treatment and steer resources with informed decision-making. In September 2009 the Administration for Children and Families, along with other federal partners (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Centers for Disease Control's Division of Violence Prevention, Institute for Education Sciences, National Institute for Drug Abuse and the National Institute for Mental Health), convened a meeting of experts to discuss the state of the field. Papers and presentations at the meeting centered on innovative methods for conducting subgroup analysis, and a discussion of guidelines for interpretation and reporting of subgroup analyses in prevention and intervention research. The presentations from this meeting are available at http://www.childcareresearch.org/childcare/datamethods/interagency-meeting.jsp.