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Treatment Integrity In Learning Disabilities Intervention Research: Do We Really Know How Treatments Are Implemented?

F. Gresham, D. Macmillan, Margaret E. Beebe-Frankenberger, K. Bocian
Published 2000 · Psychology

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Treatment integrity (sometimes called treatment fidelity or procedural reliability) refers to the degree to which treatments are implemented as intended. A survey of intervention articles published in the three major learning disabilities journals over the past 5 years demonstrates that 18.5% of these studies measured the integrity with which treatments were implemented, thus making it difficult to state unequivocally which treatments are effective or ineffective. A "curious double standard" exists in the learning disabilities literature in which operational definitions and measures of reliability are almost always presented for dependent variables but not for independent (treatment) variables. In this article we outline treatment integrity logic, discuss threats to experimental validity that may occur without treatment integrity assessment, describe technical issues in treatment integrity, and provide recommendations for future research and practice in the assessment and reporting of treatment integrity ...
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