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Response to: ‘Synthetic control methodology as a tool for evaluating population-level health interventions’ by Bouttell et al
  1. Frank de Vocht1,2,
  2. Colin Angus2,3,
  3. Kate Tilling1,2,
  4. Alan Brennan2,3,
  5. Matthew Hickman1,2
  1. 1 Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2 NIHR School for Public Health Research, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3 ScHARR School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Frank de Vocht, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 2PS, UK; frank.devocht{at}

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We read with interest the recent paper from Bouttell and colleagues on the use of synthetic control methodology (SCM) as a tool for the evaluation of population-level health interventions.1

We welcome and support their conclusion that these methods provide a valuable addition to the methodological arsenal of those undertaking evaluations of public health, and other, interventions where randomisation is not possible or practical, or retrospectively where the opportunity for randomisation was missed. We echo their call for other researchers to adopt these methods more widely.

As …

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  • Contributors FdV and CA conceived of the letter and wrote the first draft. All authors commented on draft versions and approved the final version.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.