The importance of randomized controlled trials as an evidence base
We examine the important role for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in outdoor play research. Currently, there are very few outdoor play RCTs, leaving gaps in both the knowledge base and evidence sought by some researchers, practitioners and funding organizations. Consideration is given to the strengths and limitations of RCTs for investigating outdoor play. In the first part of the chapter, we consider the current state of knowledge about outdor play and increased need for RCTs. We then profile the standard RCT procedures and protocols within the context of outdoor play. To illustrate the potential for RCTs in outdoor play research, we discuss two investigations that have used cluster RCTs with separate but complementary interventions for parents and children, concurrently addressing the goal of facilitating outdoor play.