Assessment Fidelity in Aphasia Research Purpose In aphasia treatment literature, scarce attention is paid to factors that may reduce a study's validity, including adherence to assessment and treatment procedures (i.e., fidelity). Although guidelines have been established for evaluating and reporting treatment fidelity, none exist for assessment fidelity. Method We reviewed treatment fidelity guidelines ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2016
Assessment Fidelity in Aphasia Research
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica D. Richardson
    University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Sarah Grace Hudspeth Dalton
    University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Jennifer Shafer
    inVentiv Health Clinical, Princeton, NJ
  • Janet Patterson
    VA Northern California Health Care System
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jessica D. Richardson: jdrichslp@gmail.com
  • Editor: Anastasia Raymer
    Editor: Anastasia Raymer×
  • Associate Editor: William Hula
    Associate Editor: William Hula×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Supplement: Select Papers From the 45th Clinical Aphasiology Conference / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2016
Assessment Fidelity in Aphasia Research
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, December 2016, Vol. 25, S788-S797. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0146
History: Received September 16, 2015 , Revised March 15, 2016 , Accepted June 13, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, December 2016, Vol. 25, S788-S797. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0146
History: Received September 16, 2015; Revised March 15, 2016; Accepted June 13, 2016

Purpose In aphasia treatment literature, scarce attention is paid to factors that may reduce a study's validity, including adherence to assessment and treatment procedures (i.e., fidelity). Although guidelines have been established for evaluating and reporting treatment fidelity, none exist for assessment fidelity.

Method We reviewed treatment fidelity guidelines and related literature to identify assessment fidelity components. We then examined 88 aphasia treatment studies published between 2010 and 2015 and report the frequency with which researchers provide information regarding the following assessment fidelity components: assessment instruments, assessor qualifications, assessor or rater training, assessment delivery, assessor or rater reliability, and assessor blinding.

Results We found that 4.5% of studies reported information regarding assessment instruments, 35.2% reported information regarding assessor qualifications, 6.85% reported information regarding assessor or rater training, 37.5% reported information regarding assessor or rater reliability, 27.3% reported on assessor blinding, and no studies reported information regarding assessment delivery.

Conclusions There is a paucity of assessment fidelity information reported in aphasia treatment research. The authors propose a set of guidelines to ensure readers will be able to evaluate assessment fidelity, and thus study validity.

Acknowledgment
This working group of authors was made possible by the Clinical Aphasiology Conference roundtable sessions.
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