Friday, 9 January 2009

Read, mark and inwardly digest

Continuing need for manualisation in CE research

This morning’s item (Sutton, 2009) on the research review from the Alberta Heritage Medical Research Foundation focusses upon its accessibility.

As for substance, here is a taste of the review's recommendations for future evaluations (both from page 31 of the report):

…the programs and therapeutic interventions need to be described at length, and it is desirable as noted by Lonigan et al. (1998) to utilize treatment manuals that provide a detailed description of the interventions. These authors state that ‘manualized treatment not only allows statements to be made concerning specific interventions but also provides the necessary detailed description and standardization for replication, dissemination, and adequate training of therapists.

The brief mention of manualisation opens the door on to a whole host of considerations, and further methodological literature, with profound implications for both the nature and the benefits of future research. So does this:

Qualitative methods of research could be used to study outcomes of CE. All of the studies reviewed were quantitative, even those attempting to examine parents' perceptions. It is clear from the work that was reviewed that there is very little understanding of the CE experience for children and perceived value to parents. Quantitative data cannot tell the whole story. Rigorously applied qualitative methodologies would help shed some light on this.

Really, every attempt at outcome-evaluation in CE-related research carried out since the year 2000 has been at fault if it has not at least considered questions raised by this thoughtful review and, better still, done something about them.

There should be no excuse now.

References

Lonigan, C., Elbert, J., Johnson, S. (1998) Empirically supported psychosocial interventions for children: an overview, Journal of Clinical Psychology, vol. 27, no 2, pp. 138-45

Ludwig, S., Leggett, P., Hartsal, C, (2000) Conductive Education for children with cerebral palsy, Edmonton, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research

Sutton, A. (2009) Rejoice with me, for I have just found a URL that was lost, Conductive World, 9 January
http://www.conductive-world.info/2009/01/rejoice-with-me-for-i-have-found-url.html

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