Comparison of intervention fidelity between COPE TEEN and an attention-control program in a randomized controlled trial

Stephanie A. Kelly, Krista Oswalt, Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, Diana Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Fidelity in implementing an intervention is critical to accurately determine and interpret the effects of an intervention. It is important to monitor the manner in which the behavioral intervention is implemented (e.g. adaptations, delivery as intended and dose). Few interventions are implemented with 100% fidelity. In this study, high school health teachers implemented the intervention. To attribute study findings to the intervention, it was vital to know to what degree the intervention was implemented. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to evaluate intervention fidelity and to compare implementation fidelity between the creating opportunities for personal empowerment (COPE) Healthy Lifestyles TEEN (thinking, emotions, exercise, and nutrition) program, the experimental intervention and Healthy Teens, an attention-control intervention, in a randomized controlled trial with 779 adolescents from 11 high schools in the southwest region of the United States. Thirty teachers participated in this study. Findings indicated that the attention-control teachers implemented their intervention with greater fidelity than COPE TEEN teachers. It is possible due to the novel intervention and the teachers' unfamiliarity with cognitive-behavioral skills building, COPE TEEN teachers had less fidelity. It is important to assess novel skill development prior to the commencement of experimental interventions and to provide corrective feedback during the course of implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-247
Number of pages15
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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