Assessing the Strength and Integrity of an Intervention

Patricia A. Brandt

Sallie Davis Kirsch

Frances Marcus Lewis

Susan M. Casey

ONF 2004, 31(4), 833-837. DOI: 10.1188/04.ONF.833-837

Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate the strength and integrity of a pilot behavioral intervention designed to assist mothers with breast cancer and their children.

Research Approach: A single-group analysis of the strength and integrity characteristics of an intervention developed for a pilot research study.

Setting: Homes of study participants in an urban area.

Participants: Seven households with a mother and father and one household with a single mother.

Methodologic Approach: Observer-reported checklists, audiorecorded intervention session data, and structured interview data obtained from study participants.

Main Research Variables: Strength of the intervention included dimensions such as the theoretical foundation, competence of the interventionist, and specificity to the breast cancer experience in the family. Intervention integrity consisted of adherence by the interventionist and participants to the intervention plan.

Findings: The strength of the intervention was determined to be an asset. Careful planning had included a framework, a defined set of scripted sessions, a competent interventionist, and content specific to the breast cancer experience. In regard to integrity, the protocol content was delivered as scripted. Improvements in the dosage and purity dimensions were found to be needed. Homework assignments and in-session skill-building approaches with the mothers were refined.

Conclusions: An intervention can be examined carefully for strength and integrity with established criteria to determine improvements needed.

Interpretation: A clinical research protocol can be improved through an assessment of an intervention's strength and integrity.

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