Toward the Effective and Efficient Measurement of Implementation Fidelity

  • Sonja K. SchoenwaldEmail author
  • Ann F. Garland
  • Jason E. Chapman
  • Stacy L. Frazier
  • Ashli J. Sheidow
  • Michael A. Southam-Gerow
Original Paper


Implementation science in mental health is informed by other academic disciplines and industries. Conceptual and methodological territory charted in psychotherapy research is pertinent to two elements of the conceptual model of implementation posited by Aarons and colleagues (2010)—implementation fidelity and innovation feedback systems. Key characteristics of scientifically validated fidelity instruments, and of the feasibility of their use in routine care, are presented. The challenges of ensuring fidelity measurement methods are both effective (scientifically validated) and efficient (feasible and useful in routine care) are identified as are examples of implementation research attempting to balance these attributes of fidelity measurement.


Implementation fidelity Fidelity measurement methods Adherence 



The primary support for this manuscript was provided by NIMH research grants 1P30MH074678 (J. Landsverk, PI) and 1P20MH0784458 (M. Atkins, PI). The authors thank the Implementation Methods Research Group (NIMH grant 1P30MH074678) Executive Committee for helpful reviews of manuscript drafts that lead to the inclusion of Table 2 and Figure 1; Marc Atkins, Bruce Chorpita, and David Henry for their participation in Think Tank discussions pertinent to the manuscript; and, V. Robin Weersing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonja K. Schoenwald
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ann F. Garland
    • 2
  • Jason E. Chapman
    • 1
  • Stacy L. Frazier
    • 3
  • Ashli J. Sheidow
    • 1
  • Michael A. Southam-Gerow
    • 4
  1. 1.Family Services Research Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent Services Research CenterUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.University of IllinoisChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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