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From The CriticsReviewer: Gayle J. Acton, PhD, RNC (University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing)
Description: This book presents the argument that intervention effectiveness research should be theory driven in order to develop and expand clinically relevant knowledge. The authors maintain that traditional outcomes evaluation provides a narrow understanding of the effects of an intervention on an outcome and fails to analyze the mechanisms linking the intervention to the outcome. It also does not take into consideration the potential influence of extraneous variables on the outcomes. Further, the authors argue that this information is needed in order to prescribe interventions correctly and apply them successfully in everyday practice.
Purpose: The purpose of the book is to critically analyze the factors influencing the effectiveness of an intervention in producing the desired outcomes, to examine their impact on the validity of the study conclusions, to determine the role of theory in examining these factors, and to discuss strategies for dealing with these factors. The authors propose theory-driven evaluation as a way to develop better, more clinically relevant interventions for nursing practice.
Audience: The book is aimed at students, researchers, and clinicians and all could greatly benefit from the information contained in the book, especially students and researchers.
Features: The overall design of the book is pleasing. The text is well written and easy to understand. The chapters are well organized and contain tables and figures of important information that are helpful to the reader.
Assessment: This book is organized around the factors that could influence the effectiveness of intervention outcomes that can be addressed by intervention theory. Chapters cover traditional outcomes methodologies, reviewing their strengths and weaknesses. The theory-driven approach to effectiveness research is described and illustrated. Next, factors related to clients' effect on interventions is addressed and intervenor and setting-related factors are examined. Also covered are the difficulties of measuring process variables and the importance of selecting outcome variables that are sensitive to the intervention being tested. The authors of the book make a very credible argument that intervention research must move from causal connection to causal explanation, arguing that a theory-driven approach is needed to make this transition. This is an excellent book and one that is highly recommended to those engaged in intervention research.