The stepped wedge cluster randomised trial: what it is and when it should be used

Michael J Campbell, Karla Hemming and Monica Taljaard
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50018
Published online: 1 April 2019

The basic premise of a stepped wedge cluster randomised trial (SW‐CRT) is that all clusters start in the control condition, and they switch to the intervention condition in an order determined by randomisation. SW‐CRTs differ from cluster crossover trials in that the switch is only in one direction, from control to intervention condition.

  • Michael J Campbell1
  • Karla Hemming2
  • Monica Taljaard3

  • 1 School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  • 2 Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  • 3 Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada

Series editors

John R Attia

Michael P Jones

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.