A new tool to assess treatment fidelity and evaluation of treatment fidelity across 10 years of health behavior research

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2005 Oct;73(5):852-60. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.73.5.852.


A. Bellg, B. Borrelli, et al. (2004) previously developed a framework that consisted of strategies to enhance treatment fidelity of health behavior interventions. The present study used this framework to (a) develop a measure of treatment fidelity and (b) use the measure to evaluate treatment fidelity in articles published in 5 journals over 10 years. Three hundred forty-two articles met inclusion criteria; 22% reported strategies to maintain provider skills, 27% reported checking adherence to protocol, 35% reported using a treatment manual, 54% reported using none of these strategies, and 12% reported using all 3 strategies. The mean proportion adherence to treatment fidelity strategies was .55; 15.5% of articles achieved greater than or equal to .80. This tool may be useful for researchers, grant reviewers, and editors planning and evaluating trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Research / methods*
  • Behavioral Research / standards
  • Bibliometrics*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / standards
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Peer Review, Research*
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • Psychology, Social*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design / standards*
  • Sociology, Medical