Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 130-134

Maintaining research fidelity: Remote training and monitoring of clinical assistants in aphasia research

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Barnali Mazumdar
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Louisiana State University, 422 Hatcher Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_489_20

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Background: In aphasia research, to improve a study's reliability, the aphasia journals compel their authors to report fidelity. Aphasia researchers are mostly concerned about Type I and Type II errors to maintain the level of confidence. However, the third type (Type III error) can significantly affect the study outcomes and question the research fidelity. Objective: This study explains the methodology of how investigators maintained research fidelity in the context of hiring and training remote data collectors and conducted a multi-site data collection. Methods: The present study used a descriptive analysis design to explicate the three-step process of remote data collection: (1) remotely selecting and training data collectors, (2) remotely supervising data collection and data management, and (3) optimizing and monitoring screening/assessment fidelity. At the initial step, investigators interviewed seven candidates and short-listed four of them, who were trained using a standard training protocol and participated in a mock data collection. For the next two steps, data collectors video-recorded each study session and e-shared the data with the investigator, who watched all the video-recordings and provided necessary feedback with a focus on the screening sections. The screenings were a part of the inclusion-exclusion criteria. Results: Two data collectors (both clinical psychologists) with the highest scores were selected and received final training. One-to-one e-supervision by the investigator resulted in significant improvement in data collectors' performance. Only 4% of the total collected sample size was excluded, and 99 participants' data were analyzed. Conclusion: The present study adds information on maintaining research fidelity for remote data collection, where limited studies exist.

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