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Nursing Research:
doi: 10.1097/NNR.0b013e31823386aa
Methods

Establishing Treatment Fidelity in a Web-Based Behavioral Intervention Study

Eaton, Linda H.; Doorenbos, Ardith Z.; Schmitz, KrisAnn L.; Carpenter, Kelly M.; McGregor, Bonnie A.

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Abstract

Background: Treatment fidelity pertains to the methodological strategies used to monitor and enhance the reliability and validity of behavioral interventions. Approaches to establishing treatment fidelity in Web-based interventions differ from those used in interventions that are delivered in person.

Objective: The aim of this study was to describe a methodology for ensuring treatment fidelity in a Web-based cognitive behavioral stress management intervention.

Methods: The intervention Coping With Cancer Workbook, adapted for Web-based delivery from an in-person intervention, was tested in a randomized controlled trial with 123 breast cancer survivors. Strategies for ensuring treatment fidelity were implemented and assessed.

Results: The National Institutes of Health Behavior Change Consortium Treatment Fidelity Guidelines were relevant to establishing treatment fidelity for the Web-based intervention.

Discussion: Web-based delivery of behavioral interventions is both a strength and a threat to treatment fidelity. Investigators must be cognizant of the elements of treatment fidelity and implement strategies to monitor and improve the reliability and validity of Web-based interventions.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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