Treatment adherence and competency ratings among therapists, supervisors, study-related raters and external raters in a clinical trial of 12-Step facilitation for stimulant users

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (Impact Factor: 3.14). 09/2014; 47(3). DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2014.05.008


This study investigated the correspondence among four groups of raters on adherence to STAGE-12, a manualized 12-step facilitation (TSF) group and individual treatment targeting stimulant abuse. The four rater groups included the study therapists, supervisors, study-related ("TSF expert") raters, and non-project related ("external") raters. Results indicated that external raters rated most critically mean adherence - the mean of all the adherence items - and global performance. External raters also demonstrated the highest degree of reliability with the designated expert. Therapists rated their own adherence lower, on average, than did supervisors and TSF expert raters, but therapist ratings also had the poorest reliability. Findings highlight the challenges in developing practical, but effective methods of fidelity monitoring for evidence based practice in clinical settings. Recommendations based on study findings are provided.

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