Lin Article Critique
However, when splitting the forty patients into two treatment groups, the clients were split randomly. This places twenty participants in each subgroup. Pyrczak (2008) suggests that number of participants can be so small that generalizing would be inappropriate. At the conclusion of the study caution was given to the small sample size provided, but it was noted that “the sample size was more than sufficient to detect meaningful statistical differences, a major goal of all treatment studies” (Lin et al. , 2004).
This indicates that a generalization was drawn from the target group of residential drug rehabilitation clients and was not drawn from a diverse source. Some participant dropped out of the study resulting in a 35% completion rate (Lin et al. , 2004). This low rate does effect generalizing the findings of the study.
The participants were similar on relevant variables in that all of the patients were diagnosed with a mental disorder, had a history of a chronic addiction, a poor response to treatment and relapse, legal issue related to addiction and little motivation to change (Lin et al. 2004). Critique of Procedures The procedures followed in acquiring participants in this study initially were not chosen at random. The forty-three patients selected for the study were from a residential drug treatment center that had specific criteria preferred by the researchers. However, when the patients were separated into treatment groups, “they were randomly assigned to FT or ADC” (Linn et al. , 2004). The treatments described in this study are sufficiently explained in detail. The researchers describe ADC, alcohol and drug counseling as a common treatment plan for substance abuse.
The article is written in more descriptive detail about forgiveness therapy for the reason that its effectiveness is being tested. The treatments were administered by a therapist trained in both FT and ADC therapy with more than twenty years of therapeutic counseling experience.
The treatments that were administered were monitored by taping the therapy sessions with a member of the team arbitrarily selecting the tapings for review of “consistency between expected and delivered treatments” (Linn et al. 2004). The same therapist conducted all the therapy sessions so that the personal effect is eliminated as a factor from this study. The therapist used the same methodology in both types of treatment programs. The setting for the experiment was a natural setting in the sense that it was not conducted in a laboratory. The therapy sessions took place within the current living environment of the rehabilitation residential facility.
The researcher considered attrition in this study stating that, “given the high levels of mobility and chaos that characterize the lives of this client population, this dropout rate is not unusual. However, the sample size was more than sufficient to detect meaningful statistical differences, a major goal of all treatment studies” (Linn et al. , 2004). Critique of Instrumentation The evaluating instruments for the research did not include actual items in the research, but did explain in great detail the description of each instrument.
The researchers also included research that supported validity of each assessment. Specialized formatting and detail was used when the instruments were administered in random order and the response format was provided. Restrictions were placed upon the research when the patience were initially chosen with the three dispositions of a chronic addiction with relapse, psychiatric diagnoses, poor response to treatment with low motivation to change, and legal issues dealing with substance abuse (Linn et al. , 2004).
Multiple methods are used to collect information on each variable within this research. The EFI, BDI-II, CSEI, STAI, SSTAEI and vulnerability to drug use scale were used to obtain data on each patient and use for statistical analysis (Linn et al. , 2004). The researchers provided sources and well researched information for each published instrument. The self-report assessments were not administered anonymously, therefore, there is some reason of doubt that information obtained from patients could have been influenced by “social desirability or response-style biases” (Linn et al. , 2004).
This researcher believes steps were taken to keep the instrumentation from influencing any overt behaviors due to the fact that all patients were exposed to the same therapist as a constant, expected occurrence, causing little deviation from the expected schedule.