Other Strategies to Enhance Standardization
Development of a plan to monitor the delivery of the intervention and of assessments is another important aspect of an intervention protocol (Chapter 12). This helps to prevent “burnout” and “drift” among interventionists and assessors, which can threaten internal validity. If an interventionist delivers an intervention for an extended period of time, it may become routine and thus he or she may take “shortcuts” or leave out important elements. Having a plan for monitoring the delivery of the intervention and a protocol for providing feedback can help to minimize this issue.
Finally, it is important to have regularly scheduled team meetings. This provides team members with an opportunity to discuss issues that may arise and to seek advice on situations that may be somewhat out of the ordinary. It also provides them with a chance to discuss aspects of the intervention/control group protocols or assessment protocols that are challenging or problematic. As noted in Chapter 22, having regularly scheduled team meetings also fosters team cohesiveness.
Figure 6.2 Example of the manual of operations for the PRISM trial.