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Clinical Context of Adherence Measurement - In Press, Psychological Assessment, July 17, 2012

Clinical Context of Adherence Measurement


This section focuses on the clinical context in which the 249 adherence measurement methods were used. Given our interest in illuminating the extent to which these methods have been used under conditions that resemble routine practice, the clinical context characteristics of primary interest were types of treatments, clinical problems, client populations, treatment settings, and clinicians providing treatment. Note that several types of treatment, and therefore several distinct adherence measurement methods, could be evaluated in the same study. Thus, the representation of adherence measurement methods reported in this section often exceeds 100% per category.

Of the 249 distinct adherence measurement methods used in the studies, eight measurement methods accounted for 21 unique entries (i.e., 21 of the 249 unique measurement methods actually represented multiple versions of eight measures). These measurement methods had been revised over time and/or for different clinical populations. Some revisions of items in the original instruments were made in successive studies with the same types of clinical problems and client populations. The titles of these measurement methods included phrases such as “revised,” or “version 1, version 2, version 3” and so forth. Among these measurement methods are the Therapist Behavior Rating Scale; (TBRS; Hogue, Liddle, Rowe, Turner, Dakof, & LaPann 1998); Yale Adherence and Competence Scales (YACS; Carroll, Connors, Cooney et al., 1998; Carroll, Nich, Sifry, Frankforter, Nuro, Ball, et al., 2000); Collaborative Study Psychotherapy Rating Scale (CSPRS; Hollon, Evans, Auerbach, DeRubeis, Elkin, Lowery, et al., 1988). Some instruments were revised when a treatment program was adapted for use with a new clinical problem or population; that is, when an additional protocol was specified for the program. An example is the instrument developed to index adherence to an adaptation of Multisystemic Therapy (MST; Henggeler, Schoenwald, Borduin, Rowland, & Cunningham, 2009) developed for substance abusing/dependent adolescents that incorporates Contingency Management. The adherence instrument for standard MST is the Therapist Adherence Measure – Revised (TAM-R; Henggeler, Borduin, Huey, Schoenwald, & Chapman; 2006); the instrument for the adaptation is MST TAM-CM (Chapman, Sheidow, Henggeler, Halliday-Boykins, &Cunningham, 2008). For current purposes, the sample size of adherence measurement methods remains 249 given that different versions of measures could have unique characteristics.

Table 1 summarizes the distribution of adherence measurement methods across treatments and clinical context variables, including clinical problems, clients, providers, and treatment settings.

Treatment models and programs.

As shown in Table 1, the majority (59%, n = 147) of the measurement methods indexed adherence to a cognitive behavioral model of treatment. Among the specific cognitive behavioral treatment programs for which adherence measurement methods were reported were Contingency Management (1.6%, n = 4), Coping with Depression – Adolescents (1.2%, n =3), and Coping Power (.8%, n = 2).

About 15% (15.3%, n = 38), of measurement methods indexed adherence to the motivational interviewing model, and 9.6% (n =8) indexed adherence specifically to Motivational Enhancement Therapy programs.

Adherence to family based therapy models was the focus of 14.5% (n =36) of the measurement methods, and adherence to five specific treatment programs was evaluated. These programs were: Multidimensional Family Therapy (2.9%, n = 7); Multisystemic Therapy (1.6%, n = 4); Brief Strategic Family Therapy (1.2%, n = 3); Functional Family Therapy (.8%, n =2); and Structural Strategic Family Therapy (.4%, n = 1). A sixth program was identified but not reliably coded.

Adherence to Interpersonal Therapy was assessed by 14.1% (n = 35) of the measurement methods, to psychodyamic and psychoanalytic treatments by 10% (n = 25) of them, and to a parent training model by 13.3% (n =33) of them. Adherence was assessed in more than one study for the following specific treatment programs: Incredible Years (5.6%, n = 14) Parent Child Interaction Training (3.2%, n = 8), and the Oregon Social Learning Model (.8%, n =2).

Clinical problems and client populations.

Clinician adherence was most frequently assessed for treatments of substance abuse (28.5%, n =71), anxiety disorders other than PTSD (27.3%, n=68) and mood disorders (22.9%, n =57). Almost fifteen percent (14.9%, n =37) of adherence measurement methods focused on treatments for youth with disruptive behavior problems and/or delinquency. Fewer than 10% of measurement methods were used to assess adherence to treatments for eating disorders and PTSD. Fewer than 5% focused on treatments for psychoses, personality disorders, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders.

The adherence measurement methods were used in studies of treatment for client samples of varying ages, genders, and racial and ethnic backgrounds. Just over half of the measurement methods (51%, n = 127) were used in studies treating adults (individuals aged 18 and older) only. Nearly 40% (39.8%, n = 99) were used in studies treating children only. Very few (2.4%) were used in studies in which both adults and children participated in treatment. Finally, 6.8% (n = 17) of the methods were used in studies of clients for which age was not reported. Over three-quarters (77.9%, n = 194) of the measurement methods were used in studies involving both male and female clients, 7.2% (n = 18) were used in studies involving only male clients, and 3.6% (n = 9) in studies involving only female clients. Over half (57%, n = 142) of the measurement methods were used in studies that included Caucasian clients, 35.7% (n = 89) were used in studies that included African American clients, and 33.7% (n = 84) were used in studies that included Latino/Hispanic clients16.5% (n = 41). Just under 10% (9.6%, n = 24) of the methods were used in studies that included Native American clients, 7.2% (n = 18) were used in studies with clients identified as Multi-Ethnic, and 27.3% (n =68) were used in studies including clients whose race or ethnicity was identified as “Other.” Because the studies in our sample spanned more than 25 years, and conventions for reporting on race and ethnicity have changed during that time, information was not sufficiently uniformly available to reliably code the ethnicity and race of Asian/Pacific Islander participants; nor to code finer grained distinctions in race and ethnicity such as, for example, Hispanic non-white, Hispanic white.

Treatment settings.

Over half of the measurement methods (55%, n = 137) were used in clinic settings, although 25.7% (n = 64) were used in academic clinics. Almost one quarter -- 22.5% (n = 56) – were used in community clinics, 19.3% (n = 48) were used in clinics described in insufficient detail to be coded as academic or community clinics, and 1.2% (n =3) were used in Veteran’s Administration (VA) clinics. Schools were the settings in which 6.8% (n = 17) of adherence measurement methods were used. An additional 10% (n = 25) of measures were used in community settings described without sufficient detail to discern the type of setting (clinic, hospital, residential treatment facility, community center, etc.).

Treatment providers

. The clinicians whose adherence to treatment was indexed by the 249 measurement methods represented a variety of professions, disciplines and levels of education. Over half of the measures (52.6%, n = 131) assessed doctoral level professionals, and another 21.7% (n = 54) were doctoral students. Over one-third of the measures (37.8%, n = 94) assessed clinicians with a master’s degree, 15.7% (n = 39) clinicians with bachelor’s degrees only, and 5.2% (n = 13) clinicians with high school degrees only. Over half (54.6%, n = 136) of the measures assessed psychologists, just over a quarter (20.1%, n = 50), assessed social workers, and 16.1% (n =40) assessed psychiatrists. Clinicians from other disciplines such as counseling, education, and marriage and family therapy were represented in small numbers (.8% – 7.6%) . Clinicians in unspecified allied and paraprofessional disciplines could not be reliably distinguished.
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