Inside the black box: challenges in implementation evaluation of community mental health case management programs
Fidelity measurement is an evolving field in mental health case management program evaluation. This article presents an exploratory study in which two separate fidelity measures, the Dartmouth Assertive Community Treatment Scale (DACTS) and the Key Component Profiles (KCP), were used to assess structure and process elements of three mental health case management programs. The programs were studied because they all provided services to seriously mentally ill inner city populations and shared a common context for practice.
Conducting evaluation research with hard-to-follow populations: adopting a participant-centred approach to maximize participant retention
Longitudinal designs are effective for the evaluation of innovative social programs, but attrition can be a significant problem, particularly with hard-to-follow populations such as persons who are homeless. Tracking strategies for locating participants are essential, but retaining participants requires anticipating and addressing participants' needs at every stage of the research. A strategy that emphasizes appropriate interviewer characteristics, the relationship between interviewer and participant, and participants' "investment" in the research is critical.