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NCJ Number: 219750 Find in a Library
Title: Utility of the Random Controlled Trial for Evaluating Sexual Offender Treatment: The Gold Standard or an Inappropriate Strategy?
Journal: Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment  Volume:19  Issue:2  Dated:June 2007  Pages:175-191
Author(s): W. L. Marshall; L. E. Marshall
Date Published: June 2007
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores the scientific, practical, and ethical issues involved with using the Random Controlled Trial (RCT) in the evaluation of sexual offender treatment.
Abstract: The authors conclude that the use of the RCT model is not ideal for assessing the effectiveness of sexual offender treatment. Moreover, the study most often held up as the model for the evaluation of sexual offender treatment, which was carried out by Marques et al. (2005), was found to have several methodological and analytical problems that reduce its relevance for the evaluation of sexual offender treatment. Two alternative strategies for evaluating sexual offender treatment were reviewed--incidental designs and actuarially-based evaluations--and were considered superior in the evaluation of sexual offender treatment effectiveness. Directors of sexual offender treatment programs are encouraged to adopt the two evaluation strategies here, or even alternative evaluation strategies, in place of the RCT evaluation model. In making this argument, the authors review the RCT design, which uses two key features: (1) the random allocation of treatment volunteers to either a treatment group or a no-treatment group, and (2) strict procedures for ensuring treatment integrity. While the scientific elegance of the RCT design is to be commended, the authors highlight problems with its design (random allocation of treatment groups), practicality, and ethical considerations. As illustration of the RCT model, California’s SOTEP study is critiqued, including its design flaws and treatment problems. Future research is encouraged in the area of evaluation of sexual offender treatment. References
Main Term(s): Evaluation of evaluation; Sex offender treatment
Index Term(s): Research design; Treatment effectiveness
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