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Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

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Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages (10,000+). The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - June 11, 2018 and is updated quarterly.

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Message ID: 8472
Date: 2010-05-07

Author:D Houston

Subject:Re: Regarding "Assessing Parent Education Programs for Families Involved with Child Welfare Services: Evidence and Implications"

Dr Johnson: Thank you for sharing your information and findings. The BACC study certainly contributes to our understanding of evidence based program outcomes and effectiveness. As former evaluator who worked with over 300 community based social service agencies, I learned that in only very rare instances do community-based practitioners and agency providers have the capacity or resources to deliver evidence-based parent ed programs under conditions that truly replicate the conditions of a clinical trial. In light of these limitations it is important to recognize even the most vigorous scientific and clinical protocols cannot replicate "real world" delivery considerations and outcomes of parent ed classes. As such, I agree with you Dr. Johnson, that while Cochran's procedures provide an essential framework for evaluation, a more global assessment is required to truly assess the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions. Ironically, the most vigorous and highly controlled outcome studies may be the LEAST likely to be duplicated in "real world" settings where factors such as staff turnover, agency budget cuts, parent participation rates, family crises, instructor communication styles, and the cultural "fit" of the curriculum have a tremendous impact on the end result. Thanks again for sharing your invaluable information, Doris Houston, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Illinois State University School of Social Work 203 Rachel Cooper Normal, Illinois 61790 309-438-8075 http://adoptionresearch.illinoisstate.edu/PEP/index.shtml Michelle Johnson wrote: > In the current era of "evidence," Cochrane procedures are the most > rigorous guidelines available to us. This is not a question. However, in > literatures reflecting a wide range of methodologies, other types of > reviews are not without value or purpose. > > During the planning stages of this project we considered the development > of a systematic review using Cochrane procedures. Based on a preliminary > search and our collective understanding of the knowledge base in this > area, we determined that this nascent body of literature, heterogeneous > in study design and comprised predominately of non-randomized studies, > was not conducive to the application of procedures for the review of > randomized control trials. While the current version of the Cochrane > Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Version 5) has evolved > to include chapters on evidence other than randomized control trials, > most of the text is oriented to clinical trials, particularly randomized > trials. > > As the state of the literature on our topic came into focus, we were > presented with difficult questions. These questions centered on what we > could contribute, particularly in light of the information needs > expressed by the social service agencies that had contracted with us for > the review. Rather than restrict our review to a few RCTs, we opted for > a more comprehensive effort to assess the general state of the > literature on parenting program development and evaluation in the > context of maltreating populations, and to examine the extent to which > program elements intersect with leading etiological theories of child > maltreatment. > > The review reveals the development of knowledge in this area, points to > future directions for research, and provides practitioners with some > considerations for contracting for parenting programs, which they are > typically required to do in an era of limited information on the topic. > To characterize something as haphazard suggests that it is marked by a > lack of planning, order, or direction. This review was not a random > exercise. >

Dr Johnson: Thank you for sharing your information and findings. The BACC study certainly contributes to our understanding of evidence based program outcomes and effectiveness. As former evaluator who worked with over 300 community based social service agencies, I learned that in only very rare instances do community-based practitioners and agency providers have the capacity or resources to deliver evidence-based parent ed programs under conditions that truly replicate the conditions of a clinical trial. In light of these limitations it is important to recognize even the most vigorous scientific and clinical protocols cannot replicate "real world" delivery considerations and outcomes of parent ed classes. As such, I agree with you Dr. Johnson, that while Cochran's procedures provide an essential framework for evaluation, a more global assessment is required to truly assess the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions. Ironically, the most vigorous and highly controlled outcome studies may be the LEAST likely to be duplicated in "real world" settings where factors such as staff turnover, agency budget cuts, parent participation rates, family crises, instructor communication styles, and the cultural "fit" of the curriculum have a tremendous impact on the end result. Thanks again for sharing your invaluable information, Doris Houston, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Illinois State University School of Social Work 203 Rachel Cooper Normal, Illinois 61790 309-438-8075 http://adoptionresearch.illinoisstate.edu/PEP/index.shtml Michelle Johnson wrote: > In the current era of "evidence," Cochrane procedures are the most > rigorous guidelines available to us. This is not a question. However, in > literatures reflecting a wide range of methodologies, other types of > reviews are not without value or purpose. > > During the planning stages of this project we considered the development > of a systematic review using Cochrane procedures. Based on a preliminary > search and our collective understanding of the knowledge base in this > area, we determined that this nascent body of literature, heterogeneous > in study design and comprised predominately of non-randomized studies, > was not conducive to the application of procedures for the review of > randomized control trials. While the current version of the Cochrane > Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Version 5) has evolved > to include chapters on evidence other than randomized control trials, > most of the text is oriented to clinical trials, particularly randomized > trials. > > As the state of the literature on our topic came into focus, we were > presented with difficult questions. These questions centered on what we > could contribute, particularly in light of the information needs > expressed by the social service agencies that had contracted with us for > the review. Rather than restrict our review to a few RCTs, we opted for > a more comprehensive effort to assess the general state of the > literature on parenting program development and evaluation in the > context of maltreating populations, and to examine the extent to which > program elements intersect with leading etiological theories of child > maltreatment. > > The review reveals the development of knowledge in this area, points to > future directions for research, and provides practitioners with some > considerations for contracting for parenting programs, which they are > typically required to do in an era of limited information on the topic. > To characterize something as haphazard suggests that it is marked by a > lack of planning, order, or direction. This review was not a random > exercise. >