Volunteer Participants (volunteer + participant)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Testing for Bias in the Impact of AmeriCorps Service on Volunteer Participants: Evidence of Success in Achieving a Neutrality Program Objective

Christopher A. Simon
During its nine years of existence, AmeriCorps has had a tremendous impact on its volunteers and the communities it serves. Despite concerns expressed by the Republican congressional leadership, the Corporation for National and Community Service,the federally funded administrative organization that directs AmeriCorps programs at the national level,has made clear its intention to operate in a nonpartisan, politically neutral manner. A study of AmeriCorps programs in four western states finds the corporation is accomplishing its "neutrality" objective and is rebuilding a sense of civic,mindedness in a manner that lacks gender or racial bias,a critical element in reestablishing a strong choral society,all the while properly respecting diversity. [source]

The Cannabis Use Problems Identification Test (CUPIT): development, reliability, concurrent and predictive validity among adolescents and adults

ADDICTION, Issue 4 2010
Jan Bashford
ABSTRACT Aims To describe the empirical construction and initial validation of the Cannabis Use Problems Identification Test (CUPIT), a brief self-report screening instrument for detection of currently and potentially problematic cannabis use. Design In a three-phase prospective design an item pool of candidate questions was generated from a literature review and extensive expert consultation. The CUPIT internal structure, cross-sectional and longitudinal psychometric properties were then systematically tested among heterogeneous past-year users. Participants Volunteer participants were 212 high-risk adolescents (n = 138) and adults (n = 74) aged 13,61 years from multiple community settings. Measurements The comprehensive assessment battery included several established measures of cannabis-related pathology for CUPIT validation, with DSM-IV/ICD-10 diagnoses of cannabis use disorders as criterion standard. Findings Sixteen items loading highly on two subscales derived from principal components analysis exhibited good to excellent test,retest (0.89,0.99) and internal consistency reliability (0.92, 0.83), and highly significant ability to discriminate diagnostic subgroups along the severity continuum (non-problematic, risky, problematic use). Twelve months later, baseline CUPIT scores demonstrated highly significant longitudinal predictive utility for respondents' follow-up diagnostic group membership. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis identified a CUPIT score of 12 to be the optimal cut-point for maximizing sensitivity for both currently diagnosable cannabis use disorder and those at risk of meeting diagnostic criteria in the following 12 months. Conclusions The CUPIT is a brief cannabis screener that is reliable, valid and acceptable for use across diverse community settings and consumers of all ages. The CUPIT has clear potential to assist with achievement of public health goals to reduce cannabis-related harms in the community. [source]

Improving Participant Comprehension in the Informed Consent Process

Elizabeth Cohn
Purpose: To critically analyze studies published within the past decade about participants' comprehension of informed consent in clinical research and to identify promising intervention strategies. Design:Integrative review of literature. Methods: The Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), PubMed, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched. Inclusion criteria included studies (a) published between January 1, 1996 and January 1, 2007, (b) designed as descriptive or interventional studies of comprehension of informed consent for clinical research, (c) conducted in nonpsychiatric adult populations who were either patients or volunteer participants, (d) written in English, and (e) published in peer-reviewed journals. Findings: Of the 980 studies identified, 319 abstracts were screened, 154 studies were reviewed, and 23 met the inclusion criteria. Thirteen studies (57%) were descriptive, and 10 (43%) were interventional. Interventions tested included simplified written consent documents, multimedia approaches, and the use of a trained professional (consent educator) to assist in the consent process. Collectively, no single intervention strategy was consistently associated with improved comprehension. Studies also varied in regard to the definition of comprehension and the tools used to measure it. Conclusions: Despite increasing regulatory scrutiny, deficiencies still exist in participant comprehension of the research in which they participate, as well as differences in how comprehension is measured and assessed. No single intervention was identified as consistently successful for improving participant comprehension, and results indicated that any successful consent process should at a minimum include various communication modes and is likely to require one-to-one interaction with someone knowledgeable about the study. [source]

Challenges in multisource feedback: intended and unintended outcomes

Joan Sargeant
Context, Multisource feedback (MSF) is a type of formative assessment intended to guide learning and performance change. However, in earlier research, some doctors questioned its validity and did not use it for improvement, raising questions about its consequential validity (i.e. its ability to produce intended outcomes related to learning and change). The purpose of this qualitative study was to increase understanding of the consequential validity of MSF by exploring how doctors used their feedback and the conditions influencing this use. Methods, We used interviews with open-ended questions. We purposefully recruited volunteer participants from 2 groups of family doctors who participated in a pilot assessment of MSF: those who received high (n = 25) and those who received average/lower (n = 44) scores. Results, Respondents included 12 in the higher- and 16 in the average/lower-scoring groups. Fifteen interpreted their feedback as positive (i.e. confirming current practice) and did not make changes. Thirteen interpreted feedback as negative in 1 or more domains (i.e. not confirming their practice and indicating need for change). Seven reported making changes. The most common changes were in patient and team communication; the least common were in clinical competence. Positive influences upon change included receiving specific feedback consistent with other sources of feedback from credible reviewers who were able to observe the subjects. These reviewers were most frequently patients. Discussion, Findings suggest circumstances that may contribute to low consequential validity of MSF for doctors. Implications for practice include enhancing procedural credibility by ensuring reviewers' ability to observe respective behaviours, enhancing feedback usefulness by increasing its specificity, and considering the use of more objective measures of clinical competence. [source]

Believing in the purpose of events,why does it occur, and is it supernatural?

Annika M. Svedholm
What is the cognitive basis for the common belief that random events have a purpose, and are these beliefs a form of supernatural thinking, as Bering has suggested? Two questionnaire studies with Finnish volunteer participants (N,=,2650, 1830 females, mean age 26) used structural equation modelling (SEM) to test the hypotheses that beliefs in the purpose of events are part of the same phenomenon as paranormal beliefs and that confusions of core knowledge of the psychological, biological and physical domains predict both sets of beliefs. In Study 1, participants were not given a definition of purpose, and in Study 2, purpose was explicitly defined as entailing planning by a supernatural agent. The results from both studies supported the predictions. The results indicate that construing events in terms of purpose is not a universal tendency but an individual cognitive bias that can be accounted for by false analogies from intuitive psychology, biology and physics. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]