Scholars in the Netherlands have recently questioned the evidence for the efficacy of Family Group Conferencing (FGC). Their criticism is that the research projects on FGC which have been carried out so far to examine its impact are meaningless, as there are only few studies which incorporated a randomised controlled trial (RCT) design. In this critical commentary, we, however, argue why one can question the rigour of the outcomes of FGC evaluated by RCTs. We make a comparison with how RCTs are conducted in clinical studies. Can RCTs of FGC claim the same robustness as psychological and medical sciences, the fields wherein the RCT design was originally established? Given the difficulty to control conditions in the social reality of families and the impact of unintended side effects that are not taken into account within an RCT design, larger samples are needed to provide real meaningful significant results. The state of the art of research into FGC deserves nuance. Questioning the qualitative and evaluation methods that have been used so far to examine the outcomes of FGC is justified, and neither is there any reason to be uncritical towards the evidence that RCTs might provide.
1 post • Page 1 of 1