Treatment Fidelity in Telephone-Delivered Interventions for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Monday, 22 July 2013

Sheila Judge Santacroce, PhD, APRN, CPNP, FAANP
School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel HIll, NC
Carrie A. Hill, BSN, RN
School of Nursing, UNiversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Learning Objective 1: Describe the comprehensive set of treatment fidelity (TF) practices that can be used to promote validity in health behavior intervention research (Bellg, et al., 2004)

Learning Objective 2: Examine the extent to which articles about outcomes of telephone-delivered behavioral interventions for cancer patients/survivors include evidence of TF practices and areas for improvement.

Purpose: To systematically examine evidence of treatment fidelity (TF) practices in articles that report outcomes from randomized clinical trials (RCT) of telephone-delivered behavioral interventions with cancer patients/survivors.

Methods: Computerized database were used to identify articles published 1/1/2005-7/31/2012 that reported outcomes of RCT of telephone-delivered behavioral interventions for cancer patients/survivors. Descriptive information about the articles has been abstracted using a standardized form. TF content will be coded using an enhanced 29-item form of the Treatment Fidelity Checklist (TFC) (Borelli, 2011), which has been provided by its developer. TFC items are distributed within five TF categories: design, training, treatment delivery, treatment receipt, treatment enactment. Items are rated on a 4-point scale (0=not applicale, 1=absent, 2=present primary article, 3=present supplementary materials). Each article will be independently coded by two trained coders. 30% of the articles will be randomly selected for coding by a third coder to assess inter-coder reliability (IRR).

Results: 32 articles will be coded for TF practices, including 18 primary articles and 14 supplementary articles. Percentages will used to describe the articles. IRR will be assessed by Kripendorf's alpha and confidence intervals. To determine what percentage of articles report a TF practice and how supplementary materials affect the codings, the number of articles in which coders found evidence of a TF practice (e.g., code=2, and also code=2, 3) will be divided by the total number of primary articles. To determine adherence to TF practices by category and in composite, the total number of strategies coded as present will be divided by the total number of strategies in each category and in total.

Conclusion: Evidence of TF practices in articles reporting outcomes of telephone-delivered behavioral RCT is critical to making judgments about validity of the results, building support for efficacy and suitability for future research/translation to practice, and advancing access to quality behavioral interventions including for cancer patients/survivors.