Treatment fidelity challenges in a five-state consultation study

Patricia W. Wesley, Donna Bryant, Carla Fenson, Kere Hughes-Belding, Kathryn Tout, Amy Susman-Stillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Consultation is a promising approach to creating change in early childhood programs, from innovations in instructional strategies to the enhancement of global program quality. Studies of consultation effectiveness have been hampered by limited reports of implementation fidelity related to consultation procedures. This article describes the challenges of supporting and measuring implementation fidelity in a 5-state study in which community consultants followed a collaborative consultation model to enhance global quality in childcare programs. The authors consider the limitations of using a randomized experimental design to study the effectiveness of consultation and share lessons learned in their efforts to enhance treatment fidelity without compromising the basic tenets of the model or the rigorous design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-227
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Educational and Psychological Consultation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The findings reported here are based on research conducted as part of the Quality Interventions for Early Care and Education Study funded by the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Cooperative Agreement 90YE0056 to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, Chapel Hill, NC. The contents of this article are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nor does publication constitute an endorsement by the funding agency.


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