Evaluation of Intervention Fidelity in a Multisite Clinical Trial in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis

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Abstract

Background: Careful consideration of intervention fidelity is critical to establishing the validity and reliability of research findings, yet such reports are often lacking in the research literature. It is imperative that intervention fidelity be methodically evaluated and reported to promote the translation of effective interventions into sound evidence-based practice. Purpose: The purpose of this article is to explore strategies used to promote intervention fidelity, incorporating examples from a multisite clinical trial, that illustrate the National Institutes of Health Behavior Change Consortium’s 5 domains for recommended treatment practices: (1) study design, (2) facilitator training, (3) intervention delivery, (4) intervention receipt, and (5) intervention enactment. A multisite randomized clinical trial testing the efficacy of a computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation intervention for adults with multiple sclerosis is used to illustrate strategies promoting intervention fidelity. Methods: Data derived from audiotapes of intervention classes, audits of computer exercises completed by participants, participant class attendance, and goal attainment scaling suggested relatively high fidelity to the intervention protocol. Conclusion: This study illustrates how to report intervention fidelity in the literature guided by best practice strategies, which may serve to promote fidelity monitoring and reporting in future studies.

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