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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2009 Apr;77(2):212-8. doi: 10.1037/a0015232.

Barriers to implementing treatment integrity procedures: survey of treatment outcome researchers.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, USA.


Treatment integrity refers to implementing interventions as intended. Treatment integrity is critically important for experimental validity and for drawing valid inferences regarding the relationship between treatment and outcome. Yet, it is rarely adequately addressed in psychotherapy research. The authors examined barriers to treatment integrity implementation by surveying psychotherapy researchers. Results indicate that lack of theory and guidelines on treatment integrity procedures, as well as time, cost, and labor constraints, were regarded as strong barriers. The lack of general knowledge about treatment integrity and the lack of editorial requirement for reporting integrity procedures were also perceived as barriers to its implementation. However, psychotherapy researchers indicated awareness of the importance of treatment integrity for the experimental validity of a study and did not regard lack of its appreciation as a barrier for implementing integrity procedures. Further, a higher number of endorsed barriers predicted lower adequacy of treatment integrity procedures in the authors' own research. Recommendations for improving how integrity is addressed include journal and editorial enforcement of treatment integrity implementation, funding for integrity procedures, and provision of specific guidelines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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