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Assessing Treatment Fidelity within an Epilepsy Randomized Controlled Trial: Seizure First Aid Training for People with Epilepsy Who Visit Emergency Departments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adam John Noble, Darlene Snape, Leone Lorna Ridsdale, Myfanwy Ann Morgan, Sarah J. Nevitt, Steve Goodacre, Anthony Marson

Original languageEnglish
Article number5048794
Pages (from-to)296-299
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2019

King's Authors

Abstract

Purpose. To measure fidelity with which a group seizure first aid training intervention was delivered within a pilot randomized controlled trial underway in the UK for adults with epilepsy who visit emergency departments (ED) and informal carers. Estimates of its effects, including on ED use, will be produced by the trial. Whilst hardly ever reported for trials of epilepsy interventions—only one publication on this topic exists—this study provides the information on treatment fidelity necessary to allow the trial’s estimates to be accurately interpreted. This rare worked example of how fidelity can be assessed could also provide guidance sought by neurology trialists on how to assess fidelity. Methods. 53 patients who had visited ED on ≥2 occasions in prior year were recruited for the trial; 26 were randomized to the intervention. 7 intervention courses were delivered for them by one facilitator. Using audio recordings, treatment “adherence” and “competence” were assessed. Adherence was assessed by a checklist of the items comprising the intervention. Using computer software, competence was measured by calculating facilitator speech during the intervention (didacticism). Interrater reliability was evaluated by two independent raters assessing each course using the measures and their ratings being compared. Results. The fidelity measures were found to be reliable. For the adherence instrument, raters agreed 96% of the time, PABAK-OS kappa 0.91. For didacticism, raters’ scores had an intraclass coefficient of 0.96. In terms of treatment fidelity, not only were courses found to have been delivered with excellent adherence (88% of its items were fully delivered) but also as intended they were highly interactive, with the facilitator speaking for, on average, 55% of course time. Conclusions. The fidelity measures used were reliable and showed that the intervention was delivered as attended. Therefore, any estimates of intervention effect will not be influenced by poor implementation fidelity.

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