Analysing N-of-1 Observational Data: A 10-Step SPSS Tutorial for Beginners

Updated: Jun 22

Selected paper written by McDonald, Vieira & Johnston (2020)

Summary: N-of-1 observational studies (or single-case observational studies [SCODs]) can be used to describe changes in outcomes over time, explore relationships between variables and inform highly personalised, data-driven interventions for individuals. This tutorial paper describes the steps needed to analyse N-of-1 observational data using SPSS. The specific analysis technique used is dynamic regression modelling, which has major benefits over alternative techniques, such as 'pre-whitening' and ARIMA modelling, that have been used to analyse N-of-1 observational data previously. This article outlines the key concepts involved in analysing N-of-1 observational data for researchers, students and clinicians who are new to the area. The tutorial paper describes a step-by-step procedure using data from a real N-of-1 observational study exploring the relationship between pain and physical activity. A dataset and SPSS syntax is provided to allow the reader to build their skills and confidence in analysing N-of-1 observational data. The authors have previously published a similar tutorial paper describing the procedure for conducting dynamic regression modelling in R.

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Full citation: McDonald S, Vieira RV & Johnston DW (2020). Analysing N-of-1 observational data in health psychology and behavioural medicine: a 10-step SPSS tutorial for beginners. Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine, 8,32-54. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21642850.2019.1711096