Enhancing treatment fidelity in health behavior change studies: best practices and recommendations from the NIH Behavior Change Consortium

Health Psychol. 2004 Sep;23(5):443-51. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.23.5.443.


Treatment fidelity refers to the methodological strategies used to monitor and enhance the reliability and validity of behavioral interventions. This article describes a multisite effort by the Treatment Fidelity Workgroup of the National Institutes of Health Behavior Change Consortium (BCC) to identify treatment fidelity concepts and strategies in health behavior intervention research. The work group reviewed treatment fidelity practices in the research literature, identified techniques used within the BCC, and developed recommendations for incorporating these practices more consistently. The recommendations cover study design, provider training, treatment delivery, treatment receipt, and enactment of treatment skills. Funding agencies, reviewers, and journal editors are encouraged to make treatment fidelity a standard part of the conduct and evaluation of health behavior intervention research.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking*
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / standards*
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic / standards*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / standards
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Participation
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design
  • United States